Australian champ opens new centre

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Busselton Mayor Grant Henley, tennis champion Margaret Court, Busselton Tennis Club President Barry house and Tennis West chief executive Michael Roberts unveil the plaque for the new Busselton Tennis Club
Camera IconBusselton Mayor Grant Henley, tennis champion Margaret Court, Busselton Tennis Club President Barry house and Tennis West chief executive Michael Roberts unveil the plaque for the new Busselton Tennis Club Credit: Pictures: Jackson Lavell-Lee, Jackson Lavell-Lee

The Busselton Tennis Club was officially opened on Saturday by tennis legend Margaret Court.

About 300 people attended the open day, which featured exhibition matches and speed serve contests for children

Busselton Tennis Club president Barry House described the facility as the best regional tennis centre in Australia and was thankful the event was well attended.

Court spoke about her upbringing in country Victoria, playing tennis in a similar environment and aspiring to win Wimbledon. “I think there are so many opportunities today — Tennis West are watching for country kids and once upon a time tennis was very big in regional areas and I would like to see it developed again with facilities like this,” she said.

“We need to fund the grassroots of the game to see the next generation of Australian players become great champions.”

She praised Tennis West and the City of Busselton for their roles in developing the centre.

“I think it’s beautiful — how blessed you are to have this facility,” she said.

Busselton Mayor Grant Henley said the City was proud of the development, which was a key part of the foreshore redevelopment plan and was “pleased with the inclusive event”.

The opening was also attended by Busselton Love All, a group of LGBTIQ supporters, who were peacefully protesting Court’s involvement in the public event due to her outspoken opinions on same-sex marriage.

Busselton Love All member Claire Paine said the group had encouraged supporters to wear colourful attire in a show of solidarity against Court’s participation in the event.

“We were very disappointed that she was invited. We are disappointed with the leadership of the community, there is a massive issue with homophobia in Busselton,” she said.

More Pictures:

Juliane Garland and Gracie Stacey.
Camera IconJuliane Garland and Gracie Stacey. Credit: Picture Sophie Elliott.
Brothers Ruaridh Coutts and Elliot Coutts competed against each other in the speed serve arena.
Camera IconBrothers Ruaridh Coutts and Elliot Coutts competed against each other in the speed serve arena. Credit: Picture Sophie Elliott.
The new courts were full with club members testing out the facilities.
Camera IconThe new courts were full with club members testing out the facilities. Credit: Picture Sophie Elliott.
Emma Cook and Clare Paine wore rainbow to support Busselton Love All’s message of inclusivity.
Camera IconEmma Cook and Clare Paine wore rainbow to support Busselton Love All’s message of inclusivity. Credit: Picture Sophie Elliott.
Michael O’Connor and Deidre Herbert show pro love signs during their peaceful protest against hate speech towards the LGBTIQ community at the Busselton Tennis Club opening ceremony
Camera IconMichael O’Connor and Deidre Herbert show pro love signs during their peaceful protest against hate speech towards the LGBTIQ community at the Busselton Tennis Club opening ceremony Credit: Jackson Lavell-Lee

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