Woodchester & Gumeracha tennis have the advantage with grants

Woodchester & Gumeracha tennis have the advantage with grants

Tennis clubs at Woodchester and Gumeracha will soon have the advantage of better court facilities thanks to nearly $300,000 in Federal funding secured by the Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.

Photo: Neville Gilbert, front right, from the Gumeracha Sporting Club, an umbrella group for community sport in Gumeracha including tennis, shows the cracks in the tennis courts to Rebekha Sharkie MP and fellow club members Bob Brooksby, left, Ian Carpenter and Paul Hammer.

The Centre Alliance MP successfully advocated for $220,000 for the Gumeracha Tennis Club to complete a full reconstruction and resurfacing of courts and $75,000 for the Woodchester Tennis Club so members can resurface their courts.

“Right across our community we are struggling to upgrade tired facilities to meet modern sporting codes and standards for health and safety,” Rebekha said.

“At the invitation of both clubs, I have visited the courts at Woodchester and Gumeracha to see first-hand the work that is urgently needed.

“Gumeracha’s courts in particular have significant cracking due to age and subsurface ground movement.

“The courts are well used for tennis in summer and for netball practice in winter and their upgrade was a high priority for the local community when the Adelaide Hills Council conducted the consultation phase of its Gumeracha Oval and Federation Park Masterplan process.

“Woodchester’s courts are 30 years old and in desperate need of resurfacing to meet the demands of a growing club and the recreational needs of the wider Woodchester community.

“The courts adjoin the town hall and they are regularly used for social events in this close-knit rural community.

“Sport plays an important role in building healthy and connected communities so I was pleased to advocate the Federal Government on behalf of the two tennis clubs and I would like to thank the Government for its support.

“I would like to thank the clubs for the efforts they have put into planning these projects and the fundraising they have done to demonstrate community input.”

The news has been welcomed by the Woodchester Tennis Club, the Gumeracha Tennis and Netball Clubs and the local councils.

Woodchester Tennis Club Secretary Judy Barnes said the grant would be an "immense help towards funding the resurfacing of three tennis courts".

As a small club our goal has always been to provide a sporting facility with a safe playing surface for current and future generations within our local community situated in the Alexandrina Council area," Judy said.

Gumeracha Tennis Club President Jacqueline Smyth said upgrading the Gumeracha courts had been a top priority for the club for a number of years.

"When we were told that this has now become a reality for us, it means more to our community than we could ever express," Jacqueline said.

"To have the support of Rebekha has been instrumental in realising this for us and we thank her for her ongoing support."

Gumeracha Netball Club President Emma Scarborough said the funding was exciting news not just for her members but for the wider community.

"Every sporting club wants to be able to provide a safe environment for their members to enjoy their sport and have fun," Emma said.

"The much-needed upgrade of the courts will give us, as a club, the opportunity to continue to offer these programs to the local community and introduce some more budding netballers to the sport in the years to come."

Adelaide Hills Council Mayor Jan-Claire Wisdom said the Gumeracha courts were well-used and upgrading the facilities was a top priority identified by the community as part of the Gumeracha Oval and Federation Park Masterplan.

“The Gumeracha community are particularly passionate about enhancing their town so I’m delighted that this collaboration between Community, Council and the Federal government has delivered such great results," she said.

Photo: Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie, centre, inspects the Woodchest tennis courts with Tony Barnes, President of the Onkaparinga Tennis Association, left, Woodchester Tennis Club member Katie Harvey, Woodchester Tennis Club President Neil Harvey and Woodchester Tennis Club Secretary Judy Barnes.