Residents in some parts of the Central Coast are a little miffed at the closure of their local tennis courts, claiming tennis is one of few remaining sports that can still be played at a safe social distance.
Local operators, however, say they are trying to manage courts in accordance with guidance from Tennis NSW.
Tennis NSW has given discretion to local clubs and operators to keep courts open subject to a set of COVID-19 guidelines.
These guidelines restrict participation to players only, limit games to singles and provide guidance on hygiene practices, including cleaning of surfaces, among other things.
Tennis NSW also stated however that clubs, coaches and operators across the country are all different and that making an assessment on whether a safe exercise environment can be provided depends on a range of factors which will apply differently at each venue.
In Avoca Beach, the local courts have been in regular use, including by local coaches and juniors and, from all accounts, players have stuck to the guidelines.
In Pretty Beach, on the other hand, the Wagstaffe to Killcare Community Association padlocked the court several weeks ago.
The Association states on its website: “In the interest of maintaining social distancing, the Wagstaffe local public tennis court has been closed until further notice.”
Why the hard-line approach?
Association President, Mike Allsop, says the Association is mindful of people’s need for recreation and exercise, but that the Association was not able to provide on-site management to ensure compliance with Tennis NSW guidelines.
He said the Association was concerned that the courts may become crowded with visitors.
Locals however have said that there have been very few visitors to the area due to the travel restrictions and that it should be enough for the Association to rely on people’s adherence to state enforced social distancing protocol.
Reporter: Ross Barry