Bondi Tennis Centre Rebuilds after Loss*
Taken from Tennis NSW website
In 2011 tennis centre operator Brian Gaitz lost his battle to retain his six court tennis centre in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney due to unrealistic pricing pressures from land owners. The battle was long and well fought but despite the support of Waverly Council, it was not one that could ultimately be won.
The Bondi Bowling Club was suffering from declining numbers and revenue and in need of an injection of regular income in order to survive.
After extensive negotiations Gaitz came to an agreement with the Bowls club to allow him to convert one of their three bowling greens into three classic clay tennis courts. (Courts were resurfaced in January 2016 and are now synthetic grass).
The proposal still required Council approval and so impressed were Councilors at Waverley Council with the Development Application, that Councilors unanimously endorsed the building of the courts on March 27th this year.
Within 3 months, the brand new Classic Clay courts were operational making them the first public courts to be built in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney in over 80 years.
Waverly is a highly populated part of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and the court to population ratio (for publically accessible courts) is 1:31,000 – a far cry from the ideal 1:1,500 ratio. So a tennis centre even just a three court centre, is a great win for tennis.
Three Synthetic Clay Tennis Courts
Gaitz has invested in and built three synthetic clay courts, fully fenced and floodlit. He has also assisted with some reconfiguring of the Bowls licensed club house including the build of an additional toilet, reconfiguration of the club entrance and the build of a pro shop that offers a wide range of tennis related products and services.
He pays a lease to the Bowls Club that will help them meet their operational costs and also fund upgrades to the aging, but classic Eastern Suburbs building ensuring the facility remains attractive and inviting to the public.
Tennis Australia has identified the need for tennis to partner with other community and sporting groups in order to meet the needs of the wider community and the social and practical benefits that this can provide.
With such a wide pulling power it makes tennis the ideal partner and in this case it will help the Bowls club attract people of all ages to the club while the tennis operator will benefit from the additional exposure and from the bowls players and their friends who choose to play tennis.
Building a Successful Tennis Venue
Brian used his extensive industry experience and his hard work ethic to create a tennis venue with excellent facilities, has surrounded himself with good quality engaging staff and is offering high quality programs, including a very successful MLC Tennis Hot Shots program.
In just three short months since opening in July 2012, the Bondi Tennis Centre has 115 hours of coaching equating to a staggering 42% court occupancy rate. He is also offering programs linked to indigenous groups and disability groups showing the true value of the centre to the community.
The Bondi Tennis Centre has secured its tenure for the long term and with the model it has in place, it is ensuring it will be a sustainable and successful tennis centre.
The Bondi Tennis Centre is located at 1A Warner Ave, Bondi and is open early till late, seven days a week. For court bookings or to speak with Brian, contact the Bondi Tennis Centre PRO SHOP on 9130 3095 or check out their website at www.bonditennis.com.au
http://www.tennis.com.au | © 02 November 2012 Tennis NW | Written by: Briony Craber
**Since the publication of this article, the clay courts have been converted to Synthetic Grass courts in February 2016**