Friday, March 5, 2010

More on the Tennis Club a great story of collaboration

Local MP Ben Hardman has issued a press release with more detail on the Tennis Club grants.

See below:

MEMBERS of the Flowerdale Tennis Club and surrounding communities can look forward to
having a hit on four new synthetic grass tennis courts thanks to a $60,000 Brumby Labor Government funding boost, Sports Minister James Merlino announced today.

Joining Member for Seymour Ben Hardman at the club’s home ground, the Spring Valley
Recreation Reserve today, Mr Merlino said the new courts would be funded through the
Community Facility Funding Program.

“Victorians love their sport and that’s why we’re investing heavily in grassroots sporting infrastructure to ensure our communities are strong, happy, healthy and active,” Mr Merlino said.

“In times of adversity, sport can play a key role in developing community strength – that’s why it’s so important that we continue to assist these clubs so that local people can stay involved in their communities and in sport. Last year $100,000 from the Community Recovery Fund was allocated towards new court development at the Flowerdale Tennis Club.”

Mr Hardman said once complete, the four new courts will feature synthetic grass surfaces that are easy to maintain, require no watering and allow high levels of use.

“The new courts will be of great benefit to Flowerdale, including nearby schools and residents of the temporary community at Spring Valley Recreation Reserve,” Mr Hardman said.

“I would like to acknowledge members and volunteers in the community as well the efforts of the Flowerdale clubs who continue to help out well after the fires – you have done an amazing job. Working together we can ensure that bushfire affected sports clubs like Flowerdale Tennis Club get the help they need when they need it most.”

Mr Hardman congratulated the Murrindindi Shire Council for their $30,000 contribution and the club for providing more than $45,000 in funding and in-kind support. The Victorian Government has invested more than $200 million for community sport and more than 2,000 community facilities across Victoria since 2000.

Flowerdale Tennis Club president Jeannette Kamar thanked the State Government for its
assistance in helping the club to provide sporting facilities for the fire-affected community. Ms Kamar said the club had grown from 32 before the fires to 78 paid-up members with families from Flowerdale, Strath Creek, Glenburn, Pheasant Creek and Kinglake West coming to enjoy tennis coaching and competition.

“Many of the members are new to tennis and are really enjoying the physical and social benefits of playing regular sport in their own community,” Ms Kamar said.

“With the assistance of Colin Grace, the club’s first ever regular tennis coach who travels from Yarrawonga each week, the skills of those who participate in his weekly lessons are clearly improving.”

With the social inter-club tennis competition now including ten teams, play had to be extended over five nights to accommodate all players. This meant reduced hours for coaching on Mondays and the men’s Friday evening social play was suspended. Ms Kamar thanked local ward councillor Sally Abbott-Smith for her strong support as well as former mayor Lyn Gunter, current mayor Peter Beales, Murrindindi Shire’s Acting CEO Rob Croxford and shire community services manager Sandra Saxton, The Flowerdale Cricket Club, Flowerdale Sports Club, Spring Valley Recreation Reserve, Committee of Management, Flowerdale Recovery Committee, Flowerdale Primary School, Flowerdale Junior LandCare group and the Flowerdale community were also thanked for “their wonderful co-operation and support to help get this project up and running”.

Ms Kamar also thanked neighbouring landowners Denis & Shirley Hodge for their co-operation in enabling a land transfer to ensure the project could go ahead.

“The great assistance received from Tennis Victoria and Tennis Australia was also acknowledged, as was the support from others across Australia,” Ms Kamar said.

“Coach Phil Conlan and friends from Essendon contacted Flowerdale Tennis Club only a few weeks after the fires, and since then they have provided significant financial and moral support and have become close friends. The financial assistance received from the Westmeadow & Nambucca Heads Tennis Clubs and the Hoppers Crossing Sports Club are also very much appreciated.”

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