10 January 2023

New multi-use squash courts in Pambula provide space for many activities

| Albert McKnight
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Group of people cutting a ribbon at an opening

Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick, Far South Coast Table Tennis Club president Danny David, Member for Eden Monaro Kristy McBain and Merimbula Squash Club president Matt Fanning officially open the Pambula multi-use squash courts. Photo: BVSC.

Bega Valley Shire Council hopes a wide variety of sports lovers will use a new multi-use sports facility in Pambula.

Able to accommodate everything from squash and table tennis to yoga and martial arts, the specialist squash and multi-use courts were officially opened this June as the latest addition to the Sapphire Aquatic Centre and Gym complex.

“From the outset, we wanted this facility to be flexible and be able to be used by a range of different sports and recreation groups,” Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick said.

“This meant not only accommodating the Merimbula Squash Club and the Far South Coast Table Tennis Club, but also ensuring it could be used for a broad range of sports and activities from yoga to martial arts and dance.

“Moveable central walls open the facility to a wide range of uses and we welcome enquiries from local sporting or community groups that may like to use this new space.”

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Far South Coast Table Tennis Club president Danny David welcomed the facility, saying it was great for the community.

“The location’s perfect where it is, having the school there, by the pool and they are talking about having racquetball ball there,” he said.

“The facility is great. I know a lot of work and time has gone into it.”

The Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund gave $850,000 to the project while Bega Valley Shire Council provided $70,000.

Mr Fitzpatrick said fit-out contractor ASB Squash had done a fantastic job under challenging circumstances, with specialist trade skills and critical parts like the moveable walls held up in the Czech Republic during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Minister for Regional Development and former Bega Valley Shire mayor Kristy McBain said the facility was a great example of the community and different tiers of government working together.

“Importantly, the Merimbula Squash Club will now be able to run competitions, attract new players and hopefully build its membership,” she said.

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Mr David said his table tennis club is currently in Pambula’s Frank Maher Pavilion, but as it was supposed to be pulled down at some stage the club was considering moving into the new facility.

“The building itself is first class, but we’ve got to make sure it does suit our purpose,” he said.

Mr David said there had been about 30 people in the club when it started 12 years ago and while its numbers had dwindled over the COVID-19 pandemic they were still going strong.

“It’s mainly a social event for people who want to get out for a couple of hours and do some exercise,” he said.

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Isabel Robinson3:08 pm 25 Jun 22

More facilities being provided by the council / ratepayers for the private school.

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