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Fines flow from police jet-ski blitz Tennis facility funding: Blaise Northey (Club President), Cameron Howe (Carrum and Paterson Lakes Forum founder) and Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Dianne Balestrat (inset) want better facilities at Long Beach Tennis Club. Pictures: Gary Sissons

Hall of Fame coach calls for upgrade Brodie Cowburn TENNIS Hall of Fame inductee Dianne Balestrat is calling for the Long Beach Tennis Club to receive funding to revamp their facilities. Ms Balestrat, a former world number 4 and Australian Open doubles champion, now spends her time coaching the next generation at the Long Beach Tennis Club, and said the facilities there had become far too outdated. “Many tennis clubs were built at a time when participation from women was lower. At Long Beach Tennis Club, there are no facilities to shower or change nor adequate lighting, which can make women and girls feel unwelcome,” Ms Balestrat said. “An upgrade will even out the play-

ing field, making all members feel comfortable, regardless of their gender and ability.” The tennis club says they host 500 participants each year, and that an upgrade is needed to keep coaching kids to a high standard. “Tennis has given me so many opportunities, and these days, I really enjoy teaching and passing on my knowledge to my students. Sound technique is imperative, I always emphasise that my students play to the best of their ability, regardless of whether they win or lose,” Ms Balestrat said. The club is based at Roy Dore Reserve in Carrum, which recently received a $3.2 million cash injection from the state government. The tennis club is calling on Kingston Council support a concept design for the development.

Long Beach Tennis Club president Blaise Northey said “Dianne knows what it takes to get the most out of her students, having coached at a national level, and it’s amazing that we have a sporting legend in our community.” “A hall of fame tennis legend like Dianne deserves adequate tennis facilities to assist with coaching upcoming talent. Upgrades will attract a wider range players and allow us to excel in the growing space of disabled tennis.” Ms Balestrat was inducted into the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame at this year’s Australian Open. She said “being in the Hall of Fame is a tremendously wonderful feeling and to have my achievements celebrated is the ultimate honour. I am so proud to be etched in history, alongside some of the game’s most famous players.”

SORRENTO and Mt Martha beaches recorded the highest number of boating offences during the Water Police’s Operation Jetwash. Thirty-one offences were detected at each of those beaches in the operation which targeted unsafe behaviour over the holiday period. Twenty-five offences were detected at Rye, 24 at Martha Cove and 22 at Frankston during the six-day blitz. As the name of the operation suggests, the police’s major focus was on jet skis and their owners’ behaviour. More than 220 infringements were issued including 53 for speeding – the most common offence. This included 39 for exceeding five knots within 50 metres of another vessel. Thirteen jet-ski riders were caught without their marine licence documents and a further eight were found to have no marine licences at all. Over the six days police issued 390 infringements – 65 a day – with many handed to boaters. More than 80 involved a range of safety-related offences including the use of life jackets and maintenance and possession of safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, torches and flares.

Seven kayakers were fined for life jacket-related offences and four swimmers were fined – including two for swimming within 50 metres of a boat launching ramp at Frankston. “Water Police conducted about 700 vessel inspections during Operation Jetwash and it was alarming that over half resulted in infringement notices being issued,” Senior Sergeant Alistair Nisbet said. “What these results show is that all water users need to lift their game when it comes to safety. “This operation targeted jet-ski use and behaviour and, in too many cases, riders failed their safety tests. “The number of offences for speeding and operating too close to other vessels is of a real concern. Jet-skis are not toys. They’re large, heavy, fast-moving machines and the results of a collision, be it with a swimmer or another vessel, can be catastrophic. “Jet-ski users need to know the rules of the water and adhere to them or, as this operation shows, police will catch up with you. “It’s also a concern that life jacket and safety equipment-related offences were detected across all watercraft.”



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12 February 2019


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