Steph Cooke stands with members of the community and the Goolagong family in front of a fence and sign that reads Goolagong Courts.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has joined members of the Goolagong family to open new tennis courts at Barellan.

The NSW Government contributed $267,417 to the project from Round 3 of the Stronger Country Communities Fund to upgrade the tennis courts and lighting.

Ms Cooke said the community had aced the upgrades.

“Barellan has a proud tennis history as the birthplace of the legendary Evonne Goolagong, who sadly wasn’t able to be with us due to ill health. Now they have courts worthy of celebrating this fabulous connection,” Ms Cooke said.

“I have no doubt that these new courts will breed a new generation of champions and build a love of this great game in players of all ages.”

“This is a community asset that the community has put their heart and soul in to upgrading and will help locals and visitors enjoy this great sport.”

Barellan Tennis Club President Louise Hornery said she was delighted with the upgrades.

“The courts look fantastic, we’ve got new grass down, the fencing and signage look magnificent and the upgrades to the clubhouse have opened it up and made it look bright,” Ms Hornery said.

“These upgrades will definitely increase participation in the sport, particularly with the new lighting, we are hoping we are going to get some of the older players back and we’ve had great interest from local schoolkids.”

“I especially want to thank the NSW Government, the Council who also contributed to the Club upgrade, Graincorp and the Barellan Masters Games. We absolutely have to thank the community, we’ve had about five working bees and without people volunteering their time we wouldn’t have gotten half of this work done.”