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New squash courts a centre for many sports

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The Bega Valley's squash players have a new state-of-the-art home, that has also been designed to cater for yogis, martial arts students, table tennis players and more.

Opened Saturday by Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Russell Fitzpatrick and local member, Kristy McBain, the Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, the specialist squash and multi-use courts are the latest addition to the Sapphire Aquatic Centre and Gym complex in Pambula.

Cr Fitzpatrick said the facility already had the seal of approval from local sports clubs.

“Members of our local squash and table tennis clubs have been really impressed with the quality of the new courts,” Cr Fitzpatrick said.

“From the outset, we wanted this facility to be flexible and be able to be used by a range of different sports and recreation groups.

“This meant not only accommodating the Merimbula Squash Club and the Far South Coast Table Tennis Club, but also ensuring it could be used for a broad range of sports and activities from yoga to martial arts and dance.

“Moveable central walls open the facility to a wide range of uses and we welcome enquiries from local sporting or community groups that may like to use this new space.

“The contractor of the court fit-out, ASB Squash has done a fantastic job under challenging circumstances, with specialist trade skills and key parts like the moveable walls held up in the Czech Republic during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“We’re thrilled with the results and of course extremely grateful for the Australian Government’s $850,000 contribution, provided under Round 4 of the Building Better Regions Fund.

“This, along with $70,000 of council funding has given the community a facility with many health and wellbeing benefits.”

Minister McBain said the facility was a great example of the community and different tiers of government working together.

“It is fantastic to see this facility come to fruition and be part of the official opening,” Minister McBain said.

“I was part of championing this project when I was mayor and had the fortune of working with a very engaged community, who will be rightly proud of their achievements. I know how important this facility is not just for our local sports clubs but for the broader community.

“People of all ages and abilities will be able to enjoy using the courts for a range of different activities.

“Importantly, the Merimbula Squash Club will now be able to run competitions, attract new players and hopefully build its membership.”

The multi-use squash courts are open and taking bookings from local clubs and groups. To make a booking and look up the fees and charges, go to council’s website.

This project was made possible with an $850,000 contribution from Round Four of the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Image: Bega Valley Shire Council