DON Wing’s contribution and passion for tennis in Launceston was yesterday officially acknowledged with the opening of a grandstand that bears his name at the city’s regional tennis centre.
It was a unanimous decision by Tennis Tasmania to name the 315-seat stand after the former Launceston mayor and former president of the Legislative Council.
The honour was bestowed upon him as he was integral to the development of the stand, the fact he lobbied within government to ensure funding could be secured for the centre, and ensured there was space for a grandstand in the original design.
‘‘I was extremely honoured and surprised and am very appreciative of the decision and grateful for the significant honour,’’ Mr Wing said.
‘‘We endeavoured to get a centre set up in the mid 1980s when I was mayor of Launceston, but unfortunately at that time it didn’t eventuate, but as things have turned out this is a much better site than it would be if it had been at Norwood, as this is in a sporting precinct that is central to Launceston.
‘‘Tennis is just a very popular and important sport in Launceston.’’
Mr Wing said the centre and its new grandstand was the result of ‘‘a lot of effective teamwork by many people over the years’’ and he was ‘‘fortunate to be one of those people’’.
The grandstand was designed and built by Philip Lighton Architects and Hazel Bros, and funded by the centre’s owner Launceston City Council, with contributions from Tennis Tasmania and the Launceston tennis community.
It was completed in January.
Tennis Australia president Stephen Healy and his Tennis Tasmania counterpart Philip Bowden, as well as the boards of both TA and TT, attended yesterday’s opening.
It is hoped the grandstand could help pave the way for Launceston to one day host a Davis Cup or Fed Cup tie.
‘‘Everyone in Launceston would be very proud if we could have a Davis Cup match here and it would be recognition to what tennis means to Launceston.’’