Valentine volunteers call time on tennis courts

CLOSING: Valentine Tennis Club president Greg Mahoney at the clubhouse.
CLOSING: Valentine Tennis Club president Greg Mahoney at the clubhouse.

LAKE Macquarie council will soon call for expressions of interest to manage Valentine tennis courts after the club's volunteer committee announced it would fold.

The committee was established in 1974 to manage the courts on behalf of the council.

It has been responsible for cleaning and maintaining the clubhouse, court hire management and running weekly senior competitions.

In a letter sent to club members, the committee said it would relinquish these responsibilities from August 1.

Valentine Tennis Club president Greg Mahoney said the decision was made due to steadily declining membership numbers and changes the council made to the club's operation, including raising the court hire fee.

"With the declining membership and the amount of work involved and increased complication [in running the facility], it's not a worthwhile use of our time," Mr Mahoney said.

In its peak, the club had about 200 members, compared to about 60 at present. While a council spokeswoman acknowledged the drop in members, she said "nothing had changed" in the club's running.

"This club, as with any other sporting club that manages a council facility, has certain reporting and accountability requirements as well as probity concerns where commercial operators [tennis coaches] are involved," she said.

The club and the council are in favour of a private operator managing the courts.