Light shined on tennis repairs

Light shined on tennis repairs

Failing court lights at the Olympic Park Tennis Complex has prompted the Mount Gambier and District Tennis Association to seek financial assistance from City Council.

The association is requesting $15,000 towards its estimated $75,000 project, which will be considered by council at its April monthly meeting being held today (Tuesday).

In a letter to council, association president Andrew van den Hurk advised the current lighting, comprising metal halide luminaire technology, is past its end of life and is failing.

“There are nine courts in total at the venue and lighting for all nine courts is either failing or inadequate,” he said.

“The current lighting system is unable to be repaired and needs immediate replacement.

“The top three courts have been installed with netball lights as a stop gap measure which has not been successful as they are too dull.

“The middle row court lighting continues to blow globes within weeks of installation, and the bottom row of courts has one tower deemed unrepairable.”

Mr van den Hurk said electricians have not been able to restore functionality to any of the affected light towers.

As a result, the courts are no longer suitable for community or competitive play after dark.

Mr van den Hurk said this has caused Friday night fixtures to no longer occur.

“Coaching activities are severely curtailed and social competitions have ceased due to the poor quality of lighting,” he said.

“This is directly impacting in the ability of tennis coaches to hold sessions after dark and has limited the ability of junior and senior players to train and compete.

“The LED lighting technology we are proposing to install is transferable to other venues, therefore we believe the investment is substantiated and essential.”

The association has outlined proposed funding could include $35,000 if successful in its application to the Office of Racing, Sport and Recreation (ORSR), along with $25,000 from association funds.

The association has applied for the Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing’s “Power of Her” Program which closed on April 3.

Mr Van den Hurk will meet with council today to pitch the association’s request.

Council’s Strategic Development and Recreation coordinator Elisa Solly will table a number of recommendations for consideration at the meeting.

“It is recommended that council consider the economic implications that this request for financial support presents,” she said.

“If council chooses to provide funding it should be considered a pre-allocation commitment from the 2024-25 Grant Funds.

“This request represents a financial implication for council which might be considered during the 2024-25 budget process.”

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