PLAYING FOR KEEPS: Harry Yates, Evans Head Tennis Club’s oldest player is hopeful the club will have a new venue.
PLAYING FOR KEEPS: Harry Yates, Evans Head Tennis Club’s oldest player is hopeful the club will have a new venue. Patrick Gorbunovs

Tennis club hopes for a future

THERE'S a glimmer of hope on the horizon for the Evans Head Tennis Club, as it creeps ominously closer to an expected 2016 eviction from its current Crown land site.

Last month Richmond Valley Council formally approved $250,000 for the club's relocation to a proposed new home at Stan Payne Oval.

New Home

The planned new club includes four tennis courts and a clubhouse, and is estimated to cost at least $600,000.

A stage-two plan may also include four squash courts.

For club president David Kirk and his fellow volunteers, it's a positive outlook to what was a potentially tragic outcome for the club.

Eviction

Two years ago they were unceremoniously notified they would be forced to leave their "perfect spot" on the banks of the Evans River.

North Coast Holiday Parks, the State Government trust which took control of the land from council, plans to put new caravan sites on the land as part of an expansion of the Silver Sands Holiday Park.

If the club can't fund a new set of courts by then, its 50 active players from Broadwater, Woodburn and Evans Head - as well as regular visitors from Victoria - will have nowhere left to play.

"The fact is we're being forced out," Mr Kirk said.

"It's a very well-managed community asset and it's all done through volunteers. We've got people who are willing to put the time in and fortunately we've got them in Evans Head.

"It's also one of the most beautiful sites for a tennis court I've ever seen."

Funds needed

While North Coast Holiday Parks has made a compensatory offer of $200,000 to contribute towards the club's move, and council will chip in $250,000, they'll still need at least another $150,000.

Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis said the club could potentially be in line for a New South Wales Government Sports and Recreation grant.



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