A NEW $800,000 clubhouse at the John Matthews Sporting Complex will give the Bathurst tennis community a facility that rivals many metropolitan centres.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole and mayor Graeme Hanger helped turn the first ceremonial sod on the site on Durham Street on Friday to mark the start of construction work.
Nick Harvey Constructions is carrying out the project which should be completed by the middle of next year.
Bathurst Tennis Centre manager Fran Mitton said it was an exciting development for the local tennis community, and a timely one given the recent growth in the sport.
“We attract huge numbers of people from right across the state and the nation to the complex and now we can cater for them more adequately,” Ms Mitton said.
“Tennis is a growing sport and we need to properly cater for that increased participation level.”
The new two-storey clubhouse, to be built beside the existing clubhouse, will feature amenities areas on the lower ground floor and a clubroom, committee room and commercial kitchen on the ground floor.
A control room will play a vital role in helping organisers run regional, state and national tournaments more smoothly.
The project has been funded by Bathurst Regional Council ($500,000), the state government ($200,000) and the Carillon City Tennis Club ($100,000).
Mr Toole said the new clubhouse would add to Bathurst’s impressive suite of sporting facilities.
“The $200,000 has come out of our Stronger Country Communities fund which is designed to support community projects in local government areas,” he said.
Rhonwen Hazell from the Carillon City Tennis Club said members were looking forward to the new facilities.
“I’m relatively new but we have many club members who have been trying to get this for many years,” she said.
“We’re very excited about having some new facilities to use.”