Pickleball courts to grow in Bundaberg

Tom Smith tries his hand at pickleball. Image: Contributed.

Brendan Bowers

The growing sport of pickleball will have a proper home in Bundaberg, thanks to a grant from the Palaszczuk Government.

Tennis Bundaberg has been awarded a $50,000 Active Gameday grant from the State Government to repurpose and build new playing facilities.

Bundaberg MP Tom Smith said the grant would allow the club to convert an existing tennis court into new pickleball courts.

“This Active Gameday grant is a great opportunity for our local sporting clubs to improve their facilities as the Bundaberg community continues to recover from the pandemic,” Mr Smith said.

“It’s great to see Tennis Bundaberg be successful as the club has some exciting plans to convert existing courts to expand the growing interest in pickleball.”

Pickleball is a modified form of tennis played on a resized court that is more inclusive for all ages and abilities.

Former Tennis Bundaberg president Geoff Strube said the club planned to turn one existing tennis court into four more pickleball courts, capitalising on the growing interest in pickleball as a sport in Bundaberg.

“Currently, we have around 80 members using the one court here in Bundaberg,” Mr Strube said.

“What we want to do with this grant is make that existing court multipurpose with hotshots and pickleball.”

“We want young kids using it and experienced players using the courts. These new courts will allow us to potentially hold state titles and major events here in Bundaberg.”

Tennis Bundaberg president Tomas O’Malley said the benefits would be two-fold, with new players coming to the centre and existing members trying out a new experience with pickleball.

“It’s fantastic news for the club to get investment in a new and rapidly expanding sport in town that we can use as a way to get more people involved in our club and sport generally.

“The advantage to pickleball is that it has a really low barrier to entry. Tennis can be a frustrating sport until you get up to a certain standard, but you can get to that point within half an hour with pickleball.

“It’s a fun social sport, and it gets people involved, which is great.”