HAMPDEN Tennis Association president Ian Gordon is confident the addition of new lights on the Lakes Complex’s back courts will attract “a few more faces” to their mid week competitions.
Four new light towers, each with two lights, were installed on courts seven, eight and nine last month ahead of the new seasons starting next week.
Their installation means all nine courts can now be used at night-time, a move Gordon hopes will attract new teams and former players back to tennis.
The competitions have been popular since their inception, with 11 men’s, four ladies and six mixed teams playing in the February to April season earlier this year.
Gordon is hoping those numbers increase in the future.
“We put them in to attract players,” he said.
“It’s not only for the men, it’s for the ladies and the mixed as well.
“They don’t have quite the numbers (of the men), but the (new) lights are to encourage more people to play.
“There were a lot that dropped out because of the late nights but whether it works or not (attract players), we have to wait and see.”
The decision to add lights to the remaining courts was one that was under consideration by the committee for a long time.
The association had often enjoyed strong seasons over the years, but after finding they were losing numbers due to the late nights, the committee decided it was time to see if they could find a way to get them back.
“We’ve been discussing it for a few years but initially we didn’t do anything and then we decided to do it after we were finding people were dropping away because it was getting too late,” Gordon said.
“We thought getting them in would get a few more up there because before our nights were sometimes finishing around 11pm but hopefully now they’ll finish around 9.30pm.
“That was the main reason.”
The decision saw the committee self fund the $48,000 project, which Gordon said was “a pretty big commitment” but one they were proud of.
They initially tried to install them straight after their most recent season but the wet weather forced them to wait until the start of September.
They got their first look at the lights in the cover of darkness last week and were immediately impressed with the result.
“There is a bit more shadow because they are newer and brighter than the other lights but they were really good,” Gordon said.
“We found you’d probably get the odd glare but you get that with the others anyway.”
The association’s new seasons kick off next Tuesday with the men’s competition, with ladies and mixed to follow on Wednesday and Thursday.
Competitions will run for eight weeks until early December and start at 7.30pm on each of their respective nights.
Cost to play is $70 for the season which covers all fees and insurances.
Gordon said any players wanting more information or to have a hit or submit a team could contact Donna Watts on 0409 535 547 or himself on 0408 948 225.