The possibility that New Zealand’s first clay court tennis complex could be built in Napier is exciting says a professional tennis coach.
As part of its expansion plans for Park Island, Napier City Council is investigating the prospect of including a world-class clay court tennis complex with a mix of indoor and outdoor tennis courts, plus a ‘number one’ court for high profile matches with an up-to 5,000 spectator capacity.
“This would be a huge thing for Napier and will help us to establish top tennis players in New Zealand,” Hawke’s Bay tennis coach Simon Winter said. “Around 80% of the world’s top players developed their skills on clay courts.”
Napier City Council Chief Executive, Wayne Jack said Napier would be the first city in New Zealand to have clay tennis courts, which would attract tennis players and spectators from all over the world.
Tennis New Zealand is already supportive of the idea and the next step will be to talk with our local clubs and stakeholders, Mr Jack said.
Mr Winter said clay tennis courts promote patient and strategic play. They are also used all-year round.
“Clay courts are the best surface for player development. This would be an absolute coup for Napier; I’m fully supportive of it. Australia invested significantly in clay court facilities over last few years with the aim of producing more world class players and they are now seeing the results.”
Tennis Australia headquarters at Melbourne Park include a new clay court facility, which opened in November 2012.
Napier City Council voted to proceed with a feasibility study and business case around the clay court concept at it meeting this afternoon (Wednesday 13 August)
“With a facility of this kind, we could quite conceivably become part of international clay court competitions as well as hosting national events. The benefits to Hawke’s Bay could well be enormous,” Mr Jack said.
6 January 2015
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