Navy tennis enthusiasts will be able to have a hit on one of the country’s oldest tennis courts, with the Garden Island, Sydney, courts now officially reopened.
The courts were closed in 2011, as they had fallen into a poor state of repair, with tree roots growing through the surface, rusting light poles and crumbling sandstone walls.
In 2015, Commanding Officer, HMAS Kuttabul, Commander Rebecca Jeffcoat made it a priority to get the courts reopened, working closely with Estate & Infrastructure Group and contractors Brookfield Global Integrated Solutions to have funds identified and works undertaken.
“Kuttabul has limited outdoor space; 2,300 Navy personnel are posted here, not including fleet units home ported at Fleet Base East, so there is significant demand for space to conduct physical training,” Commander Jeffcoat said.
“With Fleet Commander issuing in his 2016 flag orders, the ‘Fit to Fight’ program, to increase participation in physical activities, making the tennis courts available for use was a priority.”
In early May, work on the courts commenced. An arborist was engaged to advise on the removal of the tree roots and to future proof the courts. The court was resurfaced with new synthetic grass, and the old nets, damaged fencing and light poles were replaced.
The Garden Island tennis courts have heritage significance within Sydney. The tennis courts are believed to have been established in 1888 as part of the facilities for the Royal Navy, making them amongst the oldest known tennis courts in Australia.
For Defence personnel, bookings for the tennis courts are coordinated through the Kuttabul Gymnasium.