New tennis courts open
Lights to be the next focus
Aotea College’s colourful new artificial tennis courts have been in use for four weeks now and are providing a much-needed shot in the arm for the sport at the school.
At a cost of just over $50,000, the two sand- based courts show up the drab asphalt surfaces next to them.
The bulk of the money was raised through a ‘‘Sportacular’’ event in June.
Mana Community Grants (MCG) contributed $20,000 to the project, and the aim now is to raise another $27,000 for lights.
‘‘A number of year 9 students coming to Aotea put down tennis as one of their sports, and all we could offer them was this,’’ says sports co- ordinator Paul Latham, referring to the asphalt courts.
‘‘They said, ‘You have to be joking’, and they’d end up playing [ against other schools] at local clubs instead.
‘‘Not any more, thanks to the Sportacular and generosity of Mana Community Grants – they’re loving these new courts, the kids are really proud of them.’’
Mr Latham wants the community to know that the courts are for public use – although this is unlikely during school hours – but the school is mulling whether to have a key system.
Tim Sheppard from MCG says it is committed to helping Porirua schools and more than 400 community groups where possible.
Courting success: Tim Sheppard (Mana Community Grants), Karyn Stillwell (Porirua City Council), Paul Latham, Annie Jackson (Aotea College), Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett and Jacob Rameka check out the school’s new artificial tennis courts last week.