14 September 2020

Barr commits to a community tennis complex in Gungahlin

| Tim Gavel
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Andrew Barr

ACT Chief Minister, Andrew Barr announces the pre-election pledge to build a new tennis facility at Gungahlin. Photo: Tennis ACT.

Just weeks after the ACT Government announced a partner for an ice sports facility in Tuggeranong, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has promised $8 million to build a community tennis facility in Gungahlin.

Mr Barr said he anticipated the new tennis facility at Amaroo would be three years in the making.

It’s hard to believe but there are no community tennis facilities in Gungahlin, the fastest-growing population centre in the country. It is seen as an obvious project but it’s dependent on Labor being re-elected.

The proposed facility has created a certain amount of anticipation within the tennis community and justifiably so given the length of time it has taken to get to this point.

It was said at Thursday’s announcement (10 September) that it has taken seven to eight years to get things going, and there has been a considerable campaign to get it over the line.

READ MORE Nick Kyrgios emerges as sports’ voice of reason when it comes to COVID-19

A survey conducted by Tennis ACT secured 750 responses and 98.5 per cent support for the project. It is also estimated that there are 32,000 tennis players in the ACT, in part attributable to the success of programs such as Tennis in Schools.

The proposed facility will include 10 to 12 courts and involve an 18-month construction phase from DA approval. The government funding commitment is over a three-year period. Tennis ACT will also invest in the Amaroo facility.

It’s not the first time that the ACT Government and Tennis ACT have gone into partnership to build tennis facilities, with the Lyneham complex being the most recent example.

READ ALSO Canberra’s new Olympic-standard ice sports facility is one step closer

There was star power backing for the proposed facility. Canberra’s world number 40 player Nick Kyrgios and his NK Foundation pledged program support.

The NK Foundation aims to help disadvantaged youth secure a better sporting chance in life.

Nick Kyrgios spoke about the benefits of growing up with tennis courts close by.

“I always had Lyneham growing up; I’m excited to see a new facility,” Nick said.

Nick Kyrgios at the announcement

Nick Kyrgios at the ACT Labor announcement of a proposed community tennis facility at Gungahlin. Photo: Tennis ACT.

The proposed development will not only lead to greater participation but also raises hopes of more major-level events coming to the ACT.

The Canberra Liberals have not indicated whether they will match the Labor announcement.

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Gungahlin is in dire need of this type of sporting facility. So good luck to them.

Now if ACT Labor could bring back the Tennis and Basketball courts they stripped out of Woden and Tuggeranong.

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