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Hundreds flock to Weipa sports precinct opening

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By MATT NICHOLLS

WEIPA Town Authority chairman Michael Rowland says he was blown away by the response to the town’s new sports facility at Saturday’s official opening.

Hundreds flocked to the Weipa Aquatic Sports Precinct for the festivities, which saw tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley cut the ribbon with Rio Tinto Weipa boss Michelle Elvy.

“It went really, really well,” Mr Rowland said on Monday.

“I didn’t get a single negative comment ... I think the gym blew everybody away.

“I think the facility went above and beyond the expectations of the community.”

Mr Rowland praised Rio Tinto for funding the new facility, at a cost of around $12 million, and thanked the WTA staff for putting together the opening event.

“The team in the town office deserve a lot of praise for their hard work to make it a special day,” he said.

The WTA chairman said having tennis royalty at the opening was an added bonus.

“Evonne was such a lovely person and very approachable. She was also blown away by the courts and the facility,” Mr Rowland said.

The next challenge for the WTA, which will manage the new centre, is to make sure it doesn’t become a burden for ratepayers.

“It needs to be used and we have amalgamated the facility with the pool to make things as efficient as possible to try and find savings.

“We hope the gym memberships increase and that people join up to the squash clubs and tennis clubs to make the most of it.

“I had one woman ask me if it could be hired out for dance classes and that’s the kind of thinking we need to make sure it is used as often as possible.”

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