Crockett emerges in new tennis play

A DRAMATIC facelift proposed for one of Perth’s oldest sports clubs has put former tourism chief Shane Crockett back in the spotlight, sharing centre court with tennis great John Alexander.

Mr Crockett confirmed his new company, VCubed, has been in discussions with Royal King’s Park Tennis Club, the first time he had been linked publicly to a leisure venture since he quit as head of the WA Tourism Commission.

But he would not comment on his discussions or whether a big stadium capable of seating several thousand people had been raised as a possibility, referring questions on the issue to the club.

A stadium at the club could provide a new home for the Hopman Cup if the proposed demolition of the Burswood Dome goes ahead.

Royal King’s Park Tennis Club president Shane Bransby said the club was examining redevelopment options in addressing its long-term financial viability, but ruled out speculation concerning plans to include a big stadium.

Next Generation Clubs Australia managing director John Alexander also confirmed he had spoken with the King’s Park club about the redevelopment proposal as recently as last week.

The first Next Generation club opened in Memorial Drive in Adelaide in 1999 and the group has aggressive expansion plans, including for Perth.

“We have been in discussions with the club for more than six years and have remained very keen on Royal King’s Park Tennis Club, WA and Perth,” Mr Alexander said.

“The Court Government promised to help us out after the election, but that’s not much help now.”

He said there seemed to be more interest in the redevelopment now.

“Something very similar to what’s worked in Adelaide could work very well for the King’s Park Tennis Club.”

Royal King’s Park Tennis Club general manager Rob Casey, who will leave that role at the end of a 10-month contract, said he had focused on the club’s poor financial situation and had worked very hard to restructure the club’s administration and service staff.

Mr Casey was unwilling to discuss any details of the redevelopment proposals except to say the Royal King’s Park Tennis Club followed a laborious process to follow correct procedure.

“It’s very difficult to get a decision made by the board and any hint of fancy footwork and we’d be open to criticism. We’ve been very careful to make it above board,” Mr Casey said.

In response to talk of a big stadium, Mr Casey said it was a “pie in the sky concept at the moment”.


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