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There are exciting times ahead for the Milford Tennis Club with plans well advanced to build a brand new “Lochores MTC” clubhouse on the Dodson Avenue site overlooking the lake.
The club’s initial plan was to upgrade the existing 80 year old clubhouse, explained club administrator Catherine Woodward when I popped in to the club for a visit during March.
"It has been a great old building that has served us well, but when we took a good hard look at what was required to bring it up to standard it was really very similar in cost to building a completely new building. The old clubhouse was built in working bee fashion originally and now has leaky and foundation issues. 80 years is a pretty good innings. We are all now excited about the opportunity to build a brand new purpose-built modern clubhouse that fits in with the environment."
In true Kiwi sports club style the Milford Tennis Club is fundraising to pay for the new clubhouse that will hopefully be located between the two sets of three tennis courts, overlooking Lake Pupuke and closer to Dodson Avenue. The new building will have virtually the same footprint as the current clubhouse.
"We are working closely with the local community to ensure they are happy with what we are doing," adds Catherine Woodward. "The old clubhouse will be demolished and that site replanted. This will also provide the opportunity for the council to upgrade the public walking pathway that runs beside the tennis courts from Dodson Avenue through to Pierce Road."
"The new clubhouse will have two levels. The top will be the Milford Tennis Clubroom and the lower level will be a self-contained space for use by other local community groups. We are very keen to hear from any local groups that are looking for a modern and convenient venue. These could be bridge clubs, scout groups, yoga groups etc."
"We have been thrilled with the generous offers of help from funders and sponsors towards the project and our fundraising events. Auckland Council has been great to work with and we also have funding support from ASB Community Trust, Pub Charity, Youthtown, Lion Foundation, The Trusts Community Foundation, Blue Sky and NZCT. Our “End of an Era” Dinner Dance held last November raised $20,000, thanks to support from Babich Wines, Hirepool and local businesses Langkawi Malaysian Restaurant, La Tropezienne French Bakery and Café, Baker’s Delight and Sushiwa Eatery. Many Milford businesses donated goods and services for our auction and local identity, Ian Jones – whose kids play here as well – helped out as MC."
Milford is clearly a very well run and popular tennis club. There are over 530 members of which half are juniors which is great for the future. This makes it the biggest club on the Shore for membership.
Catherine Woodward says that having a good coach is important and that they have one of the best in Shelley Bryce.
"As Shelley Stephens she was New Zealand's number one player for five years, she played on the professional circuit for 10 years and has gone on to become one of the very best coaches and a Tennis NZ selector. Shelley is a local, her kids go to Milford School, and she works well with players of all ages. When juniors join the club they get some free coaching from Shelley which is hugely valuable to their game. We are very lucky to have Shelley."
Well done Milford Tennis on this great new initiative that will serve the community well for decades to come. While some consent approvals are still to be finalised a sensational new clubhouse is not too far away.
Any local groups who are interested in sharing this new facility can register their interest by contacting: Catherine Woodward, Club Administrator, Phone 410 6626 or 0273 270868. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Visit: www.milfordtennisclub.org.nz
Channel Magazine: Issuu 53 April 2015