Courts set for redevelopment

THE state government has signed off on providing $1 million towards the $2.35 million redevelopment of the Sale Tennis Club.

The state money, announced in March last year as part of an $85 million Latrobe Valley sports package, will go with funding from the club ($550,000), Wellington Shire Council ($650,000) and Tennis Victoria ($150,000).

Works will involve reconstructing two existing, and constructing two new, red porous courts which will meet official requirements for International Tennis Federation tournaments, and upgrading eight courts for club-level competitions.

Seating, shared pathways to connect facilities, court lighting for evening games and the clubhouse will also be improved, allowing the centre to attract higher grade tournaments and improve amenity for the local community.

The works will complement the club’s two existing international standard showcourts.

The redevelopment is due to be completed by the end of the year.

Sale Tennis Club president Robin Lowe said the redevelopment would put the club in a position to bring more high quality tennis to the region more often.

“This is an exciting project for our sport and district, and we’re grateful for the support of the state government and Wellington Shire in making this a reality,” he said.

Latrobe Valley Authority chief executive Karen Cain said the club had long been earmarked for significant upgrade.

“Our contribution will help it take pride of place as one of Gippsland’s pre-eminent sporting facilities, contributing to our shared visitor economy and local liveability,” she said.

“These works will complement LVA’s $400,000 upgrade to the Traralgon Tennis Association and create the possibility of major event sharing between the centres.”

Wellington Shire deputy mayor Ian Bye said council was pleased the Latrobe Valley Authority had recognised the Sale Tennis Club as an important facility to the local community and has confirmed its support to assist with funding the redevelopment.

“Refurbishment of the current facilities will enable the Sale Tennis Club to host senior level training and competitions by Tennis Victoria, local associations and clubs,” he said.

“This will add to the facility’s ability to attract higher levels of activity and will also attract more visitors to our beautiful region.”

Eastern Victoria MLC Harriet Shing said the funding was “a vote of confidence in Gippsland’s next generation of tennis  champions and supporters”.

“We’re giving the Sale Tennis Club the facilities that central Gippsland needs to attract new competition, visitors, teams and spectators, and we’re also providing locals with even more reasons to get healthy, get involved and love where they live,” she said.