Club not feeling the luv

09. 823NEWS

• Alan Francis, Hanna Kleyn, John Dick, Dot Oliver, Julie Green, Gerry Williams, Vic Sabbioni and Valdek Blaszczak at Maylands Tennis Club. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

THE number of courts at Maylands Tennis Club has been slashed from 17 to 11 in a cost-cutting drive by Bayswater city council.

A council review revealed the club has just 78 members and costs ratepayers around $1400 per head per year. The council is responsible for most maintenance of 14 grass and three acrylic courts.

Following the review’s announcement the club launched a recruitment drive, boosting membership from 60 to 78, including a two-for-one summer deal.

Cr Terry Kenyon says the costs are still too high: “Half the courts are under water in the winter,” he says.

But that’s “complete bullshit” according to club president John Hogben who is “devastated” by the loss of courts.

“We have boosted membership by 30 per cent over six months—that is a great start,” he says.

“I understood that if we demonstrated we could increase our numbers we would be granted a reprieve.

“This cut will impact our ability to host interclub tournaments and I don’t think it will save the city much money at all.”

But Cr Kenyon says club numbers are too low: “Clubs across the city with low membership numbers need to look at amalgamating to save money, provide better facilities and attract more members—that’s reality.”

Council staff say the unused courts will continue to be mowed and may reactivate if membership increases.

Mr Hogben says the 1930-era club is one of a dying breed in Australia with grass courts. It has been at Clarkson Reserve since the early 1980s.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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