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Resurfaced courts boon for Martinborough

By Gary Caffell

Martinborough Tennis Club members are in celebratory mode.

The resurfacing of their two astro turf courts, complete with lights, has been finished with an official opening ceremony planned for early Saturday evening.

Constructed at a cost of around $100,000, much of which has been provided through generous grants from Eastern and Central and Trust House, the courts will not only significantly enhance a tennis amenity which also boasts six grass courts but will also be a boon for two other sports, hockey and netball.

“We wanted the astro turf courts to be multipurpose and we are very excited about the opportunities it will provide for the Martinborough community,” Tennis club treasurer John Kirkup said.

“It’s going to be a huge benefit for three different codes, and that’s how we wanted it.”

Kirkup said the upgrading of the astro turf courts was well overdue with the originals being installed in 1994 and that sentiment was supported by long-time club member Libby Paterson who added they had deteriorated to the point where their condition had become the subject of constant criticism.

“The difference between what they were and what they are now is light years apart. Everybody is going to want to play on them now,” Paterson said.

All told Martinborough Tennis Club has some 120 members covering a wide range of age groups with Kirkup saying one of their most popular attractions was a business house competition, the entry for which was so big it was run over two nights each week.

“Tennis is in good health here and we’re expecting this project to add further growth,” Kirkup said.

“Having the ability to play at night is another plus in that regard.”

The main benefit from the resurfaced astro turf courts for the Martinborough hockey fraternity is that the four junior teams already in vogue there will be able to use them for training purposes as they prepare for competition matches at Hockey Wairarapa’s Clareville headquarters.

Their cause will be helped by the tennis nets being easily moved to allow them to utilise the full area.

“Obviously the courts are going to allow the hockey people to expand their training programmes and they’re expecting that to attract more players to the game,” Kirkup said.

For Martinborough Netball Club members it is not only the improved condition of the two astro turf courts which is attractive but the addition of lights means they can use it as their home venue, rather than travel to Featherston for training purposes.

“Right now the netballers have just one team but they are pretty confident they will be able to build on that through the travel situation not being such a problem,” Paterson said.

Saturday’s opening will be performed by Martinborough Tennis Club patron Ian Cresswell at around 6.30pm and there will be exhibition games of tennis, netball and hockey as part of the festivities.

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