by Jack Lawrie
TENNIS: A facility upgrade five years in the making is looking to finally come through at the Monto tennis court.
Near the end of 2016, the Monto District Tennis Association received a $100,000 Sport and Recreation grant to replace the lighting and resurface the old courts.
Association president Rob Bygrave said he felt an immense sense of achievement to have it finally go through.
"We've been applying for quite a few years to get a facility upgrade and an upgrade for our lights has been much needed," Bygrave said.
"Our lights were probably some of the oldest designs left in Queensland."
Over January, new LED lights were installed at the court, which are set to be activated in the coming weeks.
According to Bygrave, the new lights are some of the best on the market.
"They're the latest ones around, I think they're up around 400 or 500 lux, compared to around 120 from the last ones," he said.
The other half of the grant went towards resurfacing of the court itself, which has seen plenty of wear-and-tear over many decades.
Those works are set to go ahead in mid-January.
Once it's done the Tennis Association is planning to have a grand opening of the newly refurbished court for the community.
While the court has kept up with coaching on Thursday evenings and fixtures on Saturdays, numbers have been on the decline.
Bygrave said it was likely a combination of the intense summer heat, and the general decline of sport in the town.
He hoped the new lights would allow for night games, making it easier to have fixtures in the summer.
"The lights were never really bright enough for night games before," he said.
"Once the work is done, we'll have a meeting in February to capitalise on the new court and organise something for the community."
The grand opening of the newly refurbished court is planned in mid-February.
This would coincide with the next annual junior development tournament in Monto, with junior players from all across Central Queensland participating.