Sawtell club aces savings strategy to lay new courts

Coffs Harbour City Council mayor Denise Knight was on hand to officially open the new synthetic grass courts at Sawtell Tennis Club. Photo: Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate
Coffs Harbour City Council mayor Denise Knight was on hand to officially open the new synthetic grass courts at Sawtell Tennis Club. Photo: Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

SAWTELL Tennis Club is not only proud of its two new synthetic grass courts which were officially opened today but it's also thrilled to boast that the club paid for every cent of the work.

Club professional Eli Baylis said it's been a long haul to have the new courts laid but all the effort is now worth it.

"We started saving 18 months to two years ago and pretty much came up with all of the funding ourselves, $71, 300," Baylis said.

"The club has done really well, no grants or loans or anything like that. We were originally thinking we would have to get a loan out but we saved really hard in the last two years to come up with the money."

The courts are expected to last for 12 or 15 years and the Baylis Tennis Academy coach revealed the new courts are a definite improvement on the old ones which were showing plenty of signs of wear and tear.

"The best thing about these courts is the base, they've actually done the base properly this time underneath the courts," he said.

"Originally they just threw it over the clay courts which meant the drainage and everything was pretty terrible. Now they've got 0.8% of a fall from one end to the other.

"Even after all the heavy rain we had last week they were actually dry within half an hour where the other courts would have been half a day."

The annual Seaside Open held at the end of July is the highlight of the Sawtell Tennis Club's year, attracting some of the best players in the country.

Baylis said upgrading the courts was part of ensuring the Seaside Open maintains its place as a prestigious event on the Australian tennis calendar.

"If we're going to hold big events we've got to have good quality courts and the synthetic we had before was starting to get to the stage where they weren't quality courts so we needed to upgrade and stay ahead," he said.

Topics:  sawtell tennis club

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