New courts served up in time for tennis

The courts extension and resurfacing project at Long Plains was officially celebrated on Saturday October 10, with a family fun day and opening event.

More than 80 people enjoyed the first official hits of tennis, games of netball and basketball shots on the new Masters float cushioned surface.

The project, which included the addition of a third netball court, was made possible by two major funding streams awarded in 2019 from the Office of Recreation and Sport Grassroots Football, Netball and Cricket program and the Adelaide Plains Council through the Federal Government Drought Communities Program.

Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP attended the opening event, taking on the honour of cutting the ribbon, and commended the local community and volunteers for their efforts to achieve the upgrades.

Courts project coordinator, Mary-Jane McArdle, said the end result would not have been achieved without the many hard-working volunteers.

“During the off season we had multiple working bees and more than 60 volunteers have contributed in some way, with an estimated total of more than 900 hours of work,” she said.

“We also had a number of local businesses who gave their specialist skills without payment or offered materials at a discounted rate.”

Different generations of local families came together to form the courts project committee and Mike Sharman was commended on Saturday for managing the base preparation for the extension area. The Pym family was also instrumental in their efforts in coordinating activities.

Saturday’s events included a commemorative tree planting to acknowledge a parcel of land gifted by the Daniel family to the Long Plains Recreation ground, where the third court is now located.

Long Plains Netball Club president Josie McArdle said she was extremely grateful to the Daniel family.

“Our community recreation ground at Long Plains is a unique facility being owned by the community rather than the council and so everything we do relies on the contribution of our locals,” Josie said.

“We have been thrilled by the support in our fundraising efforts for this project, raising more than $28,000 in just over 12 months, which has been directly channelled into the courts.”

The clubs also acknowledged two major courts naming rights sponsors – KR & MA McArdle & Sons and the Parker family’s Rutherglen Farm.

The courts project committee was praised for their input including treasurer Monique Pym, and chair Cathy McArdle who conducted a lot of work for the grant application process and court surfacing research, which began back in 2017.

Long Plains Tennis Club president Ben Pym said players were looking forward to playing on the new courts with the junior competitions beginning this Saturday, October 17 and the senior A grade side starting on October 24.

Six new light towers will also be installed to complete the courts upgrade, opening the potential for night games in the future.