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HomeLifestyleSportTennis star joins local dignitaries to launch facilities update at Collaroy Tennis...

Tennis star joins local dignitaries to launch facilities update at Collaroy Tennis Club

Tennis star Casey Dellacqua joined Mayor Sue Heins and Wakehurst MP Michael Regan to celebrate the opening of a range of new facilities at Collaroy Tennis Club last week.

The new facilities include two newly surfaced ‘centre courts’, upgraded embankments on both these courts, permanent seating for players on all six of the club’s courts and brand new Council-built bathrooms and showers, including a gender-neutral ‘parenting’ bathroom complete with wheelchair access.

The upgrades build on the club’s success- it was already announced by Tennis Australia as ‘Most Outstanding Club, Australia’ in 2022.

The above dignitaries were joined by others from Tennis NSW, Club Sponsors, Mr James Dakin, General Manager of Sargood on Collaroy for people with spinal cord injuries, Cr Vincent De Luca OAM, Life Members of the Club and Council staff who worked on the renovations.

James Dakin, GM of Sargood on Collaroy, tries out wheelchair tennis at Collaroy T.C.

After a brief presentation by Club President, Vito Cincinnato, Mr Dakin spoke about the impact of the new facilities on the local wheelchair community. Sargood on Collaroy provides specialist accommodation and respite care specifically for people with spinal cord injuries. Guests from Sargood regularly use the facilities at the tennis club.

“We love the fact that we can bring our people here and they are welcomed and accepted like any other players”, said Mr Dakin. “They have a great time playing on the special cushion acrylic hard court with easy access for their chairs and now they have a new, accessible bathroom to use too. I congratulate the Club for its truly friendly and inclusive nature.”

Mayor Sue Heins and MP for Wakehurst Michael Regan join Club President Vito Cincinnato at the unveiling of the plaque recognising Council’s contribution to the facilities update.

The Mayor then unveiled a plaque acknowledging Council’s invaluable contribution to the works. She spoke about the importance of accessible facilities on the Northern Beaches and the fact that the Collaroy precinct continues to grow as a proud hub of accessibility for those in wheelchairs.

Attendees were then given a guided tour of the new facilities and many, including the Mayor, then tried their hand at wheelchair tennis. Mr Cincinnato said that catering for wheelchair players is a critical part of the club’s philosophy of promoting inclusiveness and diversity.

Mayor Sue Heins tried out wheelchair tennis at the event.

“Collaroy Tennis Club is proud to be the only club on the Northern Beaches with wheelchair access to a court specifically designed to cater to this segment of the community,” said Mr Cincinnato.

“In addition to welcoming wheelchair tennis players, we also run programs in conjunction with our Coaching Partner Evolve, for vision-impaired and blind players and for those with intellectual impairments such as Autism and Down Syndrome. We believe everyone, no matter their circumstances, should be able to participate in and enjoy our great sport.”

Casey Dellacqua, Club Life Member Ros Ode and Cr Vincent de Luca at the facilities upgrade event.

Now a respected tennis commentator, Casey Dellacqua commenced her illustrious professional career as a 16-year-old in 2002, retiring in 2018. During her career, she reached a WTA singles ranking of 26 in the world and was also world ranked No. 3 in doubles. Dellacqua is passionate about promoting tennis and mentoring players. She currently holds the title of ‘Women and Girls Lead’ at Tennis NSW. She was proud to be part of this notable club event and congratulated Collaroy T.C. on enabling more people to play the game she loves.

Disclosure: Contributor Dave Keogh is a member of the Management Committee at Collaroy Tennis Club

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