The Shirley Tennis Club sustained damage to all 9 courts and its Clubrooms as a result of the earthquakes in February and June 2011 - damage that was far beyond what any other Club sustained.
The Management Committee sought the support of all members to try and recover from this catastrophic damage.
The Shirley spirit shone through as young and old turned up on mass to repair our Club, to make it better than it was before the earthquakes.
Court 3 and 4 repair
Initially it was planned to do minor repairs to these courts, but the damage proved to be so severe that the whole base had to be removed and replaced.
Earthquake matting was installed to prevent future damage, new synthetic grass laid, fences replaced and lighting was installed for future use
Repairs to court 1 and 2
Despite severe surface damage the court base remained in reasonable shape on these courts.
A new Synpave surface was applied to these courts, and lighting poles installed for future use
Court 5-7 repair
These courts suffered relatively little damage compared to the remainder of courts at the Club, and it was therefore hoped that no money would need to be spent on them. However, as time went by the porous base below the synthetic grass had become unstable and sunk in various places creating some very inconsistent bounces.
This project required the removal of the three old synthetic grass courts, extraction and replacement of the bad sections of the base, and finally the installation of new synthetic grass. The total cost of this work was around $140,000 and the work was completed by Multi Sport Surfaces Ltd. The Club was very fortunate to receive a $100,000 grant from New Zealand Community Trust which largely enabled this project to be completed.
The project started on 28 July 2015 and the courts were used for the first time on Saturday 10 October 2015.
These courts were officially opened on Saturday 19 December 2015 by Poto Williams, Member of Parliament Christchurch East before an excellent crowd of existing and past members.
New Courts Hardcourts
With the demise of the Shirley Bowling Club after the earthquake damage destroyed their greens and clubrooms, the Club saw an opportunity to take over their old land to build two further hardcourts.
This project took two years to get approved, with a significant obstacle being an historic right-of-way that was discovered by the CCC that ran hard up against the eastern boundary on the existing hard courts. As a compromise, the Club was required to leave a gap between the existing and new courts to allow for the right-of-way to be taken up by any resident that builds on the old Woodchester House site. This space will be utilized by the Club for seats and tables that will enable excellent viewing of all four hard courts.
As part of the process, the Club is looking to relinquish the lease on the back two courts to the Richmond Workingmen's Club cricket section, who will use this space for storage and training. This is a great option for the Club given these courts remain badly damaged and are often covered in leaves and moss, and therefore not used too frequently.
Construction of the new courts started in November 2016, but a number of delays meant they were able to be completed before the autumn/winter weather settled in. Lines were applied to the asphalt surface so they can be used over winter, and the synpave will be applied in Spring when the weather warms up.
Treetech kindly donated a significant quantity of bark mulch that was applied around the circumference of the courts, and 100 new hedge plants were planted which will provide excellent wind protection in time.
The tennis club always had aspirations to install court lighting. This was first looked at prior to the 2011 earthquake, but was moved down the priority list as we focused on the court re-build.
An initial application was lodged in October 2014 and it had been hoped to light the two hard courts, and two synthetic courts closest to the Club. However, a local resident was likely to object to this installation so the plan was changed to have lighting installed on the 4 hardcourts to remove this objection. The lighting poles were installed as part of the new fence line and are 8 metres high to avoid resource consent issues needed if they were higher.
After two long years, final approval was obtained in February 2017 for the four courts to have lighting installed. A coin operated meter system was installed to allow members the flexibility to use the lights at their discretion at a very affordable price.
The court light installation was completed in May 2017, and used for the first time in June 2017.