[singlepic id=394 w=320 h=240 float=left] Tennis players in Edmonton will benefit from $65,558 in Bligh Government funding as part of the $20 million Sport and Recreation Infrastructure program, State Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt announced today.

Mr Pitt said the improvement involves upgrading three court surfaces to a rebound synpave hard court coating and putting concrete at the ends of the three courts and in front of the clubhouse where there is wear and tear from constant use and the weather elements.

“The net posts will also be replaced with safer ones without large exposed handles,” Mr Pitt said.

“This is great news for the club and community and I’m sure the new upgraded courts will be greatly appreciated by the club’s 143 members.”

Mr Pitt said the club’s committee has worked hard over recent years to fundraise towards upgrading the courts.

“There have been so many tireless workers who’ve taken every opportunity to raise funds through membership drives, ‘come and try days’ and sausage sizzles,” he said.

“And I know as the local MP I’ve signed so many letters of support for various grant programs the club has applied for.”

Mr Pitt said the current condition of the courts meant that competition fixtures are unable to be played at Down Park and players are forced to travel to other clubs for matches.

“Since 2007, the number of memberships has increased from 20 children playing twice a week and a social group playing once a week, to 120 children using the courts five days a week. This large increase has brought the need of upgrading facilities to a high priority,” he said.

“As a government, we want to make sure our local sport and recreation clubs have the best facilities so they can continue to provide that vital community service.

“We know that clubs are the lifeblood of communities, and by funding new facilities, upgrades and developments, the Bligh Government is helping to secure the future of grassroots clubs.

“This infrastructure funding is a win-win situation as it will create jobs and provide locals with the infrastructure they need to get up, get out and get active.

“Far northerners love their sport, and we want to encourage them to get involved in sport and recreation by providing new and improved facilities.

“Ultimately, this will help local organisations develop and thrive, and will help increase their membership numbers.”

Mr Pitt said the latest Bligh Government funding for sport and recreation compliments other funding initiatives including the Positive or it’s Pointless campaign, the Sport and Recreation Local Jobs Plan, and the Sport and Recreation Active Inclusion program.

“The Bligh Government understands the important role sport plays, which is why we invest more in sport and recreation than any other state,” Mr Pitt said.

“Developing sport at the grassroots right up to the elite level heightens our chances of hosting events, and reinforces our reputation as the Champions State and the Events State as well.

“This is underpinned by our Toward Q2: Tomorrow’s Queensland initiative to help Queenslanders become the healthiest people in Australia.”

For more information about sport and recreation funding, call 1300 656 191 or visit http://www.communities.qld.gov.au/sportrec/funding