A $1 million expansion of Wanaka’s squash club is on the cards, if the club can sell some land at its Stone St site.
Players are starting to feel a little squashed-in at their two-court clubrooms and have developed plans to build a third.
Last weekend, the club borrowed chairs to host players at the annual Queen’s Birthday Tournament.
When New Zealand men’s doubles representatives Lwamba (23) and Temwa (21) Chileshe, of Hamilton, played the men’s singles final on Sunday night, about 60 people crowded into the club, with some sitting on the floor and others standing at the back.
Club president Tony Johnston said the Wanaka tournament weekend was always popular with people from out of town because it was a holiday place, he said.
The club has about 100 members and more juniors than any other club in Otago, so it was time to expand, he said.
‘‘There is just that mentality in Wanaka that kids have got to do stuff . . .The kids here are brought up like that from the time they are two or three. It is a very active society,’’ Mr Johnston said.
Secretary Pip Gardner said she limited entries because with just two courts, the club could not cater for everyone.
Expanding to three courts would be ‘‘huge’’ for the 40›year› old club.
‘‘For the likes of the Queen’s Birthday Tournament, we could take more entries . . .We could also host national tournaments because we would have capacity to do that,’’ she said.
Mr Johnston said the clubrooms sat on about 2500sqm of land and the plan was to conclude a subdivision and sale of some of that land in the next two months.
‘‘We’ve definitely got demand to have another court.
‘‘The whole complex was built by volunteers in 1979-80-81. They need tidied-up and we need another court. We have plans in front of us.’’
The club developed several options to deal with the land and needed to give funders more concrete details about what the club could contribute but the most important thing was to get a signature on a sale and purchase agreement, he said.
Wanaka club captain Roy Kewish said it was ‘‘super exciting to have plans on the table’’.
‘‘We will be able to have more club nights and grow our membership . . .and we want to make sure our club could have some cross use, for example the judo club . . .We are trying to think laterally to have people using the area.’’