Presidents message

Welcome to Ipswich District Junior Tennis Club. We are a community-based, family-oriented club with our core values being Fun, Fitness, Fair play and Friendship.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank all club members and parents for making this club your place to learn and play tennis. I also thank all the volunteers who have selflessly and tirelessly given their time and experience to junior tennis player development at IDJTA.

My family and I have been associated with the club for over 20 years and it has been a very fulfilling and satisfying experience for my children and me. I am appreciative to have been nominated and accepted as president of this very fine club.

IDJTA aims to provide affordable coaching for children and their families, and affordable fixtures and social tennis. We continue to also support local schools – Ipswich Flexi school, Central schools’ group of local primary schools, and Grammar schools to access tennis courts for their school tennis programs for training and competitions as part of our commitment to the Ipswich community.

This year we have upgraded the lighting to LED lights on courts 1-4 so that they meet competition standards. Funding for this project was a joint venture between our club and the QLD Government Gambling Community Benefit Fund. The improvement to the court lighting standard has been significant and will reduce ongoing electricity costs. The lighting systems are an important piece of infrastructure used early morning and early afternoons during winter, and at night to support our junior coaching, junior fixtures, nightly fixtures and casual court hire.

Courts 5-8 (the top courts) are in a very poor condition and end of life. We are currently applying for a Grant to fund the biggest upgrade to our top courts in the past thirty years from the QLD Government and working through the obstacles for this application with Ipswich City Council. Mike Bloomer facilities advisor, quantity surveyor and project manager from Tennis Queensland has developed a project plan, and this has been submitted to council for their approval. The scope of works includes upgrades to the sub surface, playing surface, fencing, and drainage. This project commencing is subject to and will be jointly funded by our club and the QLD Government Minor Infrastructure and Inclusive Facilities grant.

We are continuing dialogue with Ipswich City Council on the replacement of the court light poles and as it makes sense to do so at the same time, the installation of new LED lights on courts 5-8 (the top courts). Council in 2016 identified the poles were end of life due to metal fatigue issues. This project has been allocated to the council budget for several years now, but unfortunately has not been approved. Council officers will be resubmitting the project for approval at next year’s council budget meeting in May 2024.

The tennis center and greater Queens Park is held in trust by QLD Government with Ipswich City Council as responsible for management of the park. Our management committee currently applies for funding grants, project manage and the club pays its own way on all infrastructure, maintenance and operating expenses incurred in providing tennis courts and tennis programs at our center. This is the best offer on the table by council, however, may not be comparable to other private business operators who pay similar rents to us and are provided with more benefits by council.

Kristy is currently negotiating to secure a 10-year lease of the facility with council. We have been provided with an offer including a significant increased rent payment and terms and conditions. The management committee has decided to go ahead with the new lease, subject to council general meeting approval. I hope this can be approved and occur before council is placed in caretaker mode.

A future project, the management committee will be progressing to replace the playing surface synthetic grass on courts 1-4 (the bottom courts). Any project will be subject to availability of external funding and grants.

In closing, I encourage all members to continue to support our committee on our journey to create a tennis center of excellence for now and the years ahead.

Matthew White