It was a busy weekend in Barellan as the new tennis courts were officially opened during the first day of the Masters Games.
Members of the Goolagong family were one hand to open the court named Goolagong Court in honour of their family and their contribution to the tennis community in Barellan.
The upgrades to the court were made possible thanks to fundraising from the Masters Games and contributions from the NSW Goverment, Narrandera Council and Graincorp, with president Louise Hornery, delighted with the improvements that were able to be made.
"The courts look fantastic, we've got new grass down, the fencing and signage look magnificent, and the upgrades to the clubhouse have opened it up and made it look bright," Ms Hornery said.
"These upgrades will definitely increase participation in the sport, particularly with the new lighting. We are hoping we are going to get some of the older players back, and we've had great interest from local schoolkids.
"We absolutely have to thank the community, we've had about five working bees, and without people volunteering their time, we wouldn't have gotten half of this work done."
Speaking on behalf of the family, Barbara Goolagong said being back in the town brought back many special memories.
"We have spent some much time here growing up with Evonne," she said.
"I'm really happy to be here, and I see a lot of faces that I use to play with in night competitions and enjoyed every minute of it.
"I enjoyed growing up here in Barellan, and Tennis was my favourite until I was old enough to do my nursing and moved to Sydney. I hope you all enjoy this today, I love the new courts and the name, and I just hope everyone has a good day, and I'm so happy to be here."
Member of Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, was on hand to represent the NSW Government who contributed $267,417 to the project as part of round three of the Strong Country Communities Fund.
Ms Cooke congratulated the tennis club for the work they have been able to achieve.
"Barellan has a proud tennis history as the birthplace of the legendary Evonne Goolagong, who sadly wasn't able to be with us due to ill health. Now they have courts worthy of celebrating this fabulous connection," Ms Cooke said.
"I have no doubt that these new courts will breed a new generation of champions and build a love of this great game in players of all ages.
"This is a community asset that the community has put their heart and soul into upgrading and will help locals and visitors enjoy this great sport."
It was a special day for another reason for Ms Hornery, who was given life membership of the Barellan Tennis Club for the work she had put into securing the upgrades for the court.
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