by Mackenzie Colahan
TENNIS: Players at the Monto Tennis Club were excited to compete for the first time on their newly relaid courts this weekend.
The fresh surface and state-of-the-art lights, installed three weeks ago, were put to the test during the annual junior development series tournament.
The $130,000 project was made possible by a sports and recreation grant from the Queensland Government, with contributions from the North Burnett Regional Council and the assistance of the local community.
Monto and Districts Tennis Association president Rob Bygrave has been petitioning for an upgrade for many years, and said he's over the moon with the improved quality of the facility.
"We've been applying for grants for the past eight years and it all came to fruition this year,” Mr Bygrave said.
"A lot of our kids have been playing here for years and they're just gobsmacked, they can't believe how much its changed.
"They've finally got a really good surface to play on, it's fantastic.”
The new lights - about five times brighter than their predecessors - installed on four of the six courts have provided an opportunity for the club to attract new players with a night tennis program they couldn't run previously.
"It's getting harder and harder to hold fixtures on the weekend because there is so much on and people are busy,” he said.
"It's like daylight playing here at night now.”
A total of 35 kids from around the region competed, with Nick Crane taking out both the division one singles and doubles title, the latter shared with partner Kody Baker.
"A lot of the Monto kids don't travel to the other tournaments so this was an opportunity for them to face some good competition,” Mr Bygrave said.