Tennis centre opens

PLAYFORD’s new world-class tennis facility has received glowing recommendations from an Australian tennis legend, after it was officially opened over the weekend.

Seven-time Grand Slam doubles winner and former Australian Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald said the new $8.9 million Playford Tennis Centre was one of the best new grassroots facilities he’s seen in Australia.

“I was more than impressed by the facility, and was actually touched at how great it looked,” he said.

“When I was the Davis Cup captain we played a tie at a centre in Cairns, and Playford is probably as good as that facility, but even bigger, which gives you an idea of its quality.

“It really is a ripper of a facility.”

Mr Fitzgerald saw the facility, in person, for the first time over the weekend when it was opened by Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty at an event on Saturday.

The exhibition also served as the official announcement of the inaugural Playford Tennis International, which is expected to draw some of the world’s top 100 male players when staged from December 30 to January 7.

Mr Fitzgerald, who was born in South Australia, said the new facility will help to get “racquets into kids’ hands” and promote the sport of tennis to families in the northern suburbs.

“The north of Adelaide has such a big catchment area and, typically, South Australia has been strong on the national level and we’ve really punched above our weight,” he said.

“The crux of progressing our game is to get families involved so it can survive and expand.

“We need to get racquets into kids’ hands and this facility can help achieve that.”

Mr Docherty said the new facility will help ensure the local community has access to activities that promote a healthy lifestyle.

“The new $8.9 million tennis centre is part of council’s strategic priority to promote healthy active lifestyles for our growing community,” he said.

“We want to create an environment that supports young Playford players to be the next great tennis champions.”

The Playford Tennis Centre features 16 courts, eight hotshot junior courts, a café, a pro shop and professional programs, which cater for players of all ages.

For more information on coaching programs, or how you can get involved with tennis in Playford, visit playfordtennis.com.au

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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