Beechwood Tennis Club forced to close due to unsafe conditions

For the first time in many years, Beechwood Tennis club will not be holding a summer competition.

Due to the state of the courts, it was decided at the last AGM to close them until they could be repaired.  Club secretary Tracey Eastwood said the decision was not made lightly but it was felt that it has become the only option.

Although, the club has members' insurance and some directors' insurance, the executive committee would not be covered adequately if someone was to be seriously injured and wished to sue.

The project to repair the courts will require around $150,000 so the committee has been seeking funding.

The council has opened up land in Beechwood for a lot of development of new housing, so the tennis club has asked them for help, based on the fact that infrastructure should be in place for all the new families coming to the area.

"To date, Council has provided a representative to meet with us and to assist us with putting a project together," said Mrs Eastwood. 

"They have also applied for a grant on our behalf that was unsuccessful. We have recently received feedback that a second grant that we applied for was unsuccessful. Our one big opportunity for another grant won't be until October or November this year," she added.

She said the club are now pressing the council and the NSW government for the funding and recently met Mayor Peta Pinson and Oxley member, Melinda Pavey.

"They were both sympathetic to our situation and declared their support. However, once back at the office, the mayor sent us an email stating that council would not be providing any funding for our project," said Tracey Eastwood.

However, council director Melissa Watkins said the council recognises the significant benefits that an upgrade to the Beechwood tennis courts would provide to the growing local community, and commends the committee for their proactive and passionate approach to seeking the required funding.

The Mayor has now written to the NSW government on behalf of the Beechwood Tennis Club committee seeking help in exploring funding opportunities for the upgrades. She said council is continuing to monitor other grant-funding programs that may present the chance to secure the required funding to undertake 'these important works and achieve a positive outcome for the club'. 

Oxley MP, Melinda Pavey said she had tried to get funding, which had been unsuccessful under the Stronger Community program.  She said it was vital that Beechwood has an asset for its residents to play sport throughout the year.

"I can see why Beechwood committee are despondent, but I will work very hard to find the money for them, if I'm elected, and I am confident I will be able to do it," she said.