THE redevelopment of the Treloar Park Tennis Centre took a major step forward on Monday morning, after the state government pledged $600,000 to help with the project.
It brings the funding up to $3.4 million, with the federal government having previously put in $1.4 million, which was matched by other project partners including Tamworth Regional Council (TRC), Tennis NSW and Wests Entertainment Group.
The money will go towards a number of projects at the facility, including the expansion from 11 championship-grade courts to 13, and clubhouse upgrades for changerooms, bathrooms and the Pro Shop.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson said a lot of work had gone into securing state funding, but he was glad to finally be part of the revamp, especially at a time when tennis in Australia is thriving.
"We saw over the weekend that many of us sat up late on Saturday night and early Sunday morning and watched Ash Barty, graceful, dignified, with poise take out the women's singles Wimbledon Championships," he said.
"And that really is the catalyst for the way tennis should be going - providing those pathways for young players coming through.
"They start in regional NSW, they start in regional Australia and they work their way up to the world stage and Tamworth is no different."
He said it was his hope upgraded resources would help coaching staff produce the "next Ash Bartys of the world".
Construction is tipped to start as early as December, and tennis coach Jarrod Campbell said he looking forward to it being completed as early as possible so the region could host bigger events and better train locals.
"For the community, it's just going to provide so much for young children, adults and social players alike on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis," he said.
"We're going to go out to nine hard courts. With nine hard courts that gives us the ability to attract ITF (International Tennis Federation) level tennis events to the town."
TRC mayor, Col Murray is hoping the upgrades will help start a new chapter for tennis in the region.
He said the sport has been left "a little wanting" in recent years, but the new courts and clubrooms could be the shot in the arm it needs to take centre stage and produce some elite talents.
"It will be fantastic to see that local tennis community rise again to where it rightfully should be here in Tamworth with a great facility," he said.
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