Redcliffs Tennis Club is thrilled to have its tennis courts back up and running, three years after they were destroyed by the Canterbury earthquakes. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this stage, but club president Dianne France, says the rewards have been immediate and overwhelmingly positive.
“The Redcliffs community was hit hard in the quakes,” says Dianne. “Many people’s homes were damaged, as was the school and several local sports facilities - including the tennis club. This dramatically altered the way Redcliffs residents live – many people have moved away, our children now bus to schools in other suburbs and we do our sport and recreation elsewhere too. In effect, Redcliffs lost a number of community touch points where locals could meet, interact and socialise.
“Now, finally, with the re-opening of the tennis courts our community has got one of those touch points back,” says Dianne.
“It’s taken a while – funds had to be raised (NZCT contributed $20,000), the damaged courts had to be assessed and removed, and a temporary asphalt surface was used for eight months,” she says. “But we are finally there! During December 2013 and January 2014 the new synpave surface was put down, much to the delight of the club’s 90 junior and 50 senior members.”
Dianne says the courts are busy day and night, and they’ve become a valuable community hub where parents can catch up with each other while watching their children play. This seemingly simple activity has been impossible for a long time, but is highly valued by locals who are still dealing with the effects of the earthquakes, three years down the line.
The club is also now able to lend a hand to others, providing space in its clubhouse for the Redcliffs Library, and sharing its facilities with Sumner Tennis Club while its courts await repair.
The club will celebrate the courts’ reinstatement on 6 April with a mini-tournament, presentation of the club’s 2013/14 tennis awards and an acknowledgement of all those involved in the court resurfacing project.