SAD STATE: Tennis coach Matthew Bourke, with players Harry Humphries, Harry Russell and Lincoln Tate, says his club is in desperate need of funds.
SAD STATE: Tennis coach Matthew Bourke, with players Harry Humphries, Harry Russell and Lincoln Tate, says his club is in desperate need of funds. Stephanie Kay

The Roma and District Tennis Club plea for help

HELP is needed to ensure the future of tennis in Roma, as the crumbling 23-year-old courts have almost become too dangerous to play on.

The Roma and District Tennis Club are urgently trying to raise enough money for the $300,000 project to refurbish and make their courts safe.

President Baden Waldron said while they were extremely grateful the council had allocated the club $55,000 for upgrading the courts in their current budget and the club had significant savings, help from the community was needed to ensure the club avoids major debt.

"We want to make it happen in the next four months, in reality the courts already aren't really safe to play on, particularly for the older people," Waldron said.

The club want to re-do the base and add new fencing and lighting to the courts.

Waldron said the funding applications to the State Government have been unsuccessful as they only granted money for new projects, not refurbishment.

"We'll be seeking sponsorship from businesses, offering advertising signage and offering life membership," he said.

The poor condition of the courts has meant the club hasn't been able to host major tournaments for the past four years.

"It's getting to the stage where it is desperate times, we've always tried to go it alone but we can't any longer," Waldron said.

"We need the support of the community to keep it going."

Coach Matthew Bourke also fears for the club and its 160 members and up to 90 junior players' future.

He said many junior players were tripping over during practice and the surface was uneven.

"We shouldn't have to have kids playing on courts like these," Bourke said.

Phone Baden Waldron on 0400 225 444 if you can help.


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