Strong return for tennis club

THE early success of a fund raising drive by Royal King’s Park Tennis Club has offered hope to management that the financial future of West Perth organisation can be secured and the club returned to profit.

Donations by members have already raised $65,000, more than half of the total aimed for by the club.

President Shan Bransby said he expected further financial contributions from members as the holiday season finished and people returned to work.

The forthcoming Davis Cup tie is also hoped to boost the club’s financial position.

Mr Bransby was cautious about claiming success too early, with the club needing a significant capital injection for debt relief and capital works as well general repairs and maintenance on the 101-year-old club’s facilities.

“There are no levies or anything in regards to extras on members. This is a pure donation drive,” he said.

The need for funding comes after a turbulent period for the club when a serious financial crisis emerged at a time when significant management changes too place, with the departure of long-serving general manager Stephen Kobelke and his short-lived successor David Orr.

Mr Kobelke recently emerged in a new management role in Perth, as the executive manager of the Australian Kidney Foundation (WA), where he has been commissioned to reposition the health-based charity in the competitive corporate environment.

Royal King’s Park’s current general manager is Rob Casey, who was recently assistant general manager at the Hopman Cup.

Mr Bransby said the height of summer was the ideal time to promote the club to members and the public and raise funds.

“The majority of world tennis players come to Australia in December to late January, this is our time on the world circuit.”

Last week’s Hopman Cup and the Davis Cup match against Ecuador in the second week of February would help Royal King’s Park tap into the market of Perth’s tennis enthusiasts.

Well endowed with top facilities in a prime location, the club is burdened with the upkeep of substantial grounds and historic grandstands at a time when the traditional membership base is waning.

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