The association has been an important part of the West Auckland sporting scene since the 1960s. However, the old stadium urgently needed an upgrade. According to club president Andrew Palmer, the old building was not big enough to meet demand and needed repairs.
Thanks to support from a range of funders, including Auckland Council, association members now enjoy a $2 million purpose-built facility. Not only is the new stadium twice the size of the old one, but it’s also wheelchair accessible. Furthermore, the facility boasts a new kitchen, toilets and top-quality lighting.
‘Being wheelchair accessible was a big driver for our club,’ explains Andrew. ‘There is a huge unmet need for wheelchair and para table tennis in West Auckland,’ he adds.
With a brand-new stadium and massive demand from players, the final piece of the puzzle was extra tables to play on. And thanks to a grant of $10,000 from the Your West Support Fund, the club has bought ten new tables.
Now that the new tables are on-site coaching for para players is set to start in March. Sport Waitākere has stepped up to fund special para coaches, which means the programme can run throughout the year.
What’s more, the venue has been selected as the table tennis location in Auckland Council’s bid to host the 2025 Special Olympics.
After a long hard road to get the building project off the ground, the association is delighted with the results.
‘We expect our membership to more than double,’ says Andrew. And a new online booking and membership system has made the stadium more accessible. ‘Players can now access the stadium seven days a week,’ he adds.
According to Andrew, the stadium expansion has made it easier to cater for all players’ needs, including group coaching and casual hire.
And even better, the stadium is available for wider community use. Andrew says it’s suitable for indoor bowls or meetings for community groups.
‘The help of the Your West Support has been the icing on the cake,’ explains Andrew. ‘Top-class facilities, including new tables, ensure the sport of table tennis has a bright future,’ he adds.
Waitemata Tennis Club is situated at 72a Seymour Road, inside Parrs Park. The club caters for players of all ages and abilities and hosts a schools’ competition. Check out the association’s website for more information.