THE first sod has been turned at the Sale Tennis Club, marking the start of a huge $2.35 million redevelopment which will lead to a dozen new courts installed by mid-2019.
The revamp of the Stephenson Park complex has been some 10 years in the making, with club president Robin Lowe welcoming the project with open arms.
“We started our feasibility study in 2008 and the data collected at the time pointed toward a major upgrade being needed heading into the future,” he said.
At a launch held at the club, Eastern Victoria MLC Harriet Shing, Wellington Shire mayor Caroline Crossley, representatives from the Latrobe Valley Authority, local councillors and the Sale Tennis Club committee were on hand to officially begin construction works.
“Top class sporting facilities are a boom for our local users and bring the very best events from across the country, and the world, right here to Gippsland,” Ms Shing said.
Mayor Crossley congratulated the club, saying the project would provide an economic boost to the region.
Works will involve reconstructing two existing, and constructing two new, red porous courts which will meet official requirements for International Tennis Federation tournaments, as well as upgrading eight courts for club level competitions.
The project has been funded through the state government, LVA, council, the John Leslie Foundation, Tennis Victoria and the club.
Lowe was overwhelmed with the announcement, and said the club looked to the future with a large degree of optimism in mind.
“There is tennis here virtually every day, so to have this redevelopment is going to be a huge benefit to all players in the area,” he said.