TENNIS RAMPS UP AT KANDANGA
Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien cut the ribbon on a new accessibility ramp at the Kandanga Tennis Club today to help kick off Seniors Month in Wide Bay.
A $6135 Stronger Communities Grant announced by Mr O’Brien in May helped fund the path and handrail.
“For towns like Kandanga, the local tennis club is the centre of the community and should be accessible for everyone, especially our seniors,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Before the path was built, access to the clubhouse and toilets was restricted to those who could climb stairs. This new inclusive path to the clubhouse means no one in the Mary Valley is left out of club activities – whether as a participant or a spectator.
“Tennis has kept this community active since the Mary Valley Tennis Club opened in 1914 – and the reason we still have a club of hard-working volunteers today is because it never goes out of style, and all ages and abilities can enjoy it.”
Kandanga Tennis Club Treasurer Marg Gillet said the installation of an inclusive path had already proven popular, from members aged in their 90s with walkers to parents pushing prams.
“The installation of a 20-metre access pathway and handrail means everyone with temporary or permanent physical or visual difficulties can access the clubhouse safely. It is already popular with grandparents, parents with prams and visitors who struggle with the stairs.”
The club’s community coaches are also training to help disabled players in the Mary Valley play racquet sports – a plan which could never eventuate without a wheelchair-accessible path.
“I hope Kandanga will have the next Dylan Alcott,” Ms Gillet said. “We are lucky that a small town has such a fantastic facility.”
Mr O’Brien congratulated the Kandanga Tennis Club for their renovations to make their club more accessible.
“Without inclusive infrastructure, we miss out on the grandparents, the senior volunteers, the wiser minds, and the community leaders from attending events,” he said.
“We also know that prevalence of disability increases with age, and we should also be doing everything we can to keep our seniors active.”