NATIONAL and international tennis competitions could be held in Tamworth, if a funding proposal for the Tamworth Tennis Club is approved.
Wests Entertainment Group is in talks with Tennis NSW and the State Government over a $5 million proposal to upgrade the club.
The proposal would include upgrades to the current clubhouse, along with transforming some of the club’s existing tennis courts into hard surfaces and a “show arena” to host tournaments.
Wests CEO Rod Laing said the group would be in further discussions with members on the proposed project.
“We’ve had approaches from Tennis NSW and Tennis Australia about their support and their ideas for upgrading the Tennis Club courts,” Mr Laing said.
“At the same time, our organisation is looking at upgrading the clubhouse, it’ll be a slightly larger clubhouse and obviously more modern and in line with club buildings today.
“Tennis NSW are really keen to assist us to work out some plans for the tennis courts. We’re talking about adding an additional two courts.
“At the moment there is four synthetic courts, which we have just upgraded. They will stay, but the rest will be turned into hard surface courts.
“They have identified that perhaps Tamworth can be the hub for tennis in the North West and basically be a centre for excellence for tennis players.
“They want to attract regional, state, national and international championships to Tamworth and they are confident they will be able to do that.”
Mr Laing said Wests had been in early discussions with Tamworth MP, Kevin Anderson, for a partnership with the state government.
“We believe it will be a big winner for the local community and the tennis community and the entire North West community,” he said.
Tennis NSW head of operations Chris Woodland said the governing body was “excited” by the proposal.
“It’s an exciting opportunity for tennis as a sport to have a footprint, and to have a major regional venue capable of being able to hold, not only local content, but to be able to hold state, national and even international events,” he said.
Mr Anderson confirmed he had taken the proposal to the NSW government. “Everyone loved the idea, but there is an application process and it has to go through that process,” he said.
Mr Anderson confirmed he had taken the proposal to the NSW government.
“We’ve been in discussions with them for a while and recently went to Sydney,” he said.
“Everyone loved the idea, but there is an application process and it has to go through that process
“It is a wonderful opportunity to bring first class tennis of an international standard to Tamworth.”
“It will be great for our city and through those hard surfaces would be a pathway for kids to state, national and international tennis – it’s a real opportunity for them.”
The Leader has contacted Tennis Australia for comment.