Ballarat business has backed the staging of the Ladies Real Tennis World Championships with unprecedented support for the niche sport.
“A strong sense of community spirit has been a determining factor behind the support for the LWC in Ballarat in raising approximately $20,000 for the ancient but niche sport,” says Ballarat Tennis Club’s President Mrs Anne Strange.
“It has been great for the real tennis world to be focussed on Ballarat for these Championships and the sponsorship, by businesses which are not necessarily related to the sport in a commercial sense, has been pivotal in the successful staging of the event.”
Ballarat City Council also recognised the importance of encouraging ladies and girls in sport and the benefits of world events being played on the Ballarat stage by hosting a Civic Reception for the players and officials last night.
“Businesses like Faulls Shoes, Polly Shoes, Primavera Luxury Accommodation, Ballarat Holden SAS Air and Haymes Paint have all jumped on board as event sponsors,” says Mrs Strange.
Long standing squash and real tennis sponsor Link Pumps and UK’s PlayBrave sportswear have also stepped in to back up the local business support with persona supports from Graeme Fowler and former Ballarat residents Jim and Irene Stephen.
“The Championships offer $5000 prize money, has costly live streaming to a U Tube viewing platform and a host of operational expenses which are not recoverable from charging of spectators or other usual avenues. The reliance on sponsors is total and means we appreciate their support even more than, in say, other sports where there is a mix of revenues to manage events,” says Mrs Strange.
“We are fortunate that Ballarat business has got behind us to stage the LWC for the first time since 1997,” she said.
The Ladies Real Tennis World Championships are being staged from now until the finals on Saturday 26th January at Ballarat Tennis Club, 388 Larter Street, Canadian. Admission is free.