Members will know that whilst the club’s lawn courts are lovely to play on, they are not safe during the winter months, or after heavy rain. In Daylesford we can only play tennis from October to April.
The winter closure particularly affects our junior players, denying them an annual program necessary to develop their tennis skills. Promising juniors have to regularly travel elsewhere, at considerable expense. Our junior players are also unable to gain experience on modern hardcourts to help them be competitive with players from other cities and towns.
For several years, the club has been examining options to allow year-round tennis. The introduction of all-weather surfaces will allow the club to offer tennis programs and competitions to both summer and winter participants. Such year-long participation will strengthen the club’s sustainability, increase membership, and promote increased healthy active participation within the community.
What has happened so far?
The club has engaged tennis architects to develop concept plans and costings for the proposed all-weather courts. The committee believes the best option is to build four synthetic courts, while retaining several of its traditional lawn courts
To see a copy of the proposed complete plan (it may be completed in stages) click here
The only remaining question is how the club would fund the development. We have investigated means of obtaining funding, including available infrastructure grants from the Commonwealth/State governments and Tennis Australia. We hope to be successful but need to plan for development independent of such funding.
The club owns its own land and some of this is excess to our needs. This excess land comprises the Perrins St frontage and old top courts adjacent to houses on Albert and West Streets, formerly the Daylesford Dharma School playground. Sale of the excess land required its rezoning as residential: this lengthy process was ultimately successful. Yay! The club is now in the process of consolidating the titles it wants to sell, as well as making the land suitable for this purpose. There is still much to be done and decided.
What type of courts and where will they be?
The current preference is to replace the grass courts 1-4 with synthetic courts. The Committee is preferring sand-filled artificial grass
Will they have lights?
Any court lighting must comply with the Australian Standard for tennis court spill lighting. Since the last update there has been an improvement in LED lighting and reduction in the spill of lighting into adjacent properties so courts 1-4 should be able to be lit
How many grass courts will be retained?
Five grass courts will be retained, since the new courts need to satisfy Tennis Australia standards for court spacing. Currently, our ten lawn courts do not meet these spacing standards.
What will happen to the clubhouse?
The club intends to remove the current building and build a new clubhouse. This clubhouse would be small but functional, built into the bank overlooking Court number 1.
When will the courts be built?
The timing of the development primarily depends on the consolidation of the land titles for sale and making the land fit for sale to Hepburn Shire Council requirements. Subject to funding and/or the sale of land, building could commence in 2021. Courts 1-4 have a budget of approximately $700,000.