12 March 2024

'Tennis gets its turn': Construction begins at Jim Elphick Tennis Centre

| Jarryd Rowley
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Members of Wagga Wagga City Council, the Riverina tennis community and NSW Tennis officially kicked off construction of Jim Elphick Tennis Centre. Photo: Wagga Wagga City Council

Members of Wagga Wagga City Council, the Riverina tennis community and NSW Tennis officially kicked off the construction at the Jim Elphick Tennis Centre. Photo: Wagga Wagga City Council.

Construction at Wagga’s prized regional tennis hub officially began on Monday (11 March) with a ceremony attended by members of the Wagga and NSW tennis community.

The Jim Elphick Tennis Centre, located at Bolton Park, will see the development of eight new International Tennis Federation standard hardcourts, two warm-up courts, five community courts, two multi-purpose netball courts and new clubrooms.

“The Jim Elphick Tennis Centre will not only enhance Wagga Wagga’s standing as a top-tier athletic centre – capable of drawing tourists, competitors, and officials from around the country – but will also provide our community with outstanding facilities that promote local health and wellbeing and cultivate young athletes at the grassroots level, across multiple sports,” Wagg Mayor Dallas Tout said.

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“This project could not have been realised without the support and grant funding received from the NSW Government’s Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund, and our partners at Tennis NSW.”

The centre will be named after the late Jim Elphick, who was one of the region’s biggest advocates of the sport and was consistently referred to as ‘Mr Tennis’ by his peers.

Mr Elphick spent most of the 70s and 80s travelling the Riverina to promote the sport and foster younger generations.

Minister for Sport, Steve Kamper said “The Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund provides inclusive and accessible facilities to enable more people to play sports, regardless of age, gender or ability.

“The fund has invested $200 million in 77 projects that will enable more people to play sport and be active across NSW.

“The turning of the first sod is an important milestone in the construction of the Jim Elphick Tennis Centre and stage one of the development of the Bolton Park Sports Hub.”

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CEO of Tennis NSW Mr Darren Simpson remarked that he was excited to see an international standard facility being constructed in Wagga Wagga.

“It’s a very special day for tennis and for the Wagga Wagga community, as we mark the start of this major project,” Mr Simpson said.

“The Jim Elphick Tennis Centre will be one of the few venues within NSW capable of hosting ITF-level events and will provide young talent with the opportunity to develop their skills on a grand slam surface.

“Upgrades such as these provide more opportunities for our regional players and support the efforts in making our sport more accessible for players of all abilities.”

Redevelopment of the centre is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The project is funded through a NSW Government Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund grant of $5 million, a contribution of $1.25 million from Tennis NSW through the ATP Cup Legacy Fund, and $2.9 million from Wagga Wagga City Council.

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