Light­ing the night

Western Suburbs Weekly - - - Kate Leaver

WEM­B­LEY Downs Ten­nis Club will light four courts for night games thanks to a $17,600 share in State Gov­ern­ment com­mu­nity sport­ing funds.

Club cap­tain Mike Un­der­wood said light­ing the courts would help to di­ver­sify the club’s mem­ber­ship and cater for work­ing fam­i­lies.

“Night ten­nis is re­ally im­por­tant to the club; we’re try­ing to get young pro­fes­sional fam­i­lies in­volved and many don’t have time to play on week­ends,” he said.

“The light­ing is es­sen­tial to the club for in­creas­ing the mem­ber­ship and ad­just­ing to what the com­mu­nity want.

“More and more peo­ple want to come and play ca­su­ally as op­posed to be­ing full mem­bers; night ten­nis is pop­u­lar.”

Un­der­wood said Wem­b­ley Downs was one of the first clubs in WA to in­tro­duce an au­to­mated court book­ing sys­tem which had been a hit with ca­sual play­ers.

Head coach Si­mon Harper said he was hop­ing to launch a touch ten­nis league in Septem­ber.

“Touch ten­nis is a new form of ten­nis tak­ing over Europe at the mo­ment which is played on smaller courts with a spongy ball. It hasn’t hit Aus­tralia yet but it is huge in the UK,” he said.

Sport and Recre­ation Min­is­ter Mick Murray said he en­cour­aged other lo­cal clubs to “put their hat in the ring” for the next fund­ing round, which closes on Au­gust 31.

Evie and Zac Harper with Sport and Recre­ation Min­is­ter Mick Murray and head coach Si­mon Harper.

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