Improving player skills will be one of the benefits gained at this week's Bayleys Peter Clarke Open Tennis Beach Tournament - but it's one of many.
The event, which was revived in 2017 after a 10-year break having originally started on the old grass courts at the base of Mount Maunganui campgrounds, will be held over three days at the Mount Maunganui Tennis Club starting with a singles competition on December 28, followed by doubles on December 29 and the mixed doubles on December 30.
Tournament convenor Sylvia Wilmhurst was expecting more than 100 players from around the upper North Island to compete in the tournament which will utilise the tennis club's newly laid new modern blue/green astro courts to match its Rebound Ace courts that were laid two years ago.
The new courts will be used for the first time during this weekend's competition and Wilmhurst said club members were excited.
As part of the upgrades, the astro courts were also spaced wider apart to allow safer access between ends and new net posts have also been included in the revamp. The project was completed at a cost of $180,000 made up of club money and contribution grants from New Zealand Community Trust and the New Zealand Racing Board, Wilmhurst said.
"Without these grants the whole exercise would not have been possible," she said.
She said some top local players would likely attend the tournament, which aimed to attract holidaymakers in the Bay as well, providing them with an option to keep up people's fitness over the festive season. Others from the Waikato, other parts of the Bay of Plenty and Auckland were also expected. However, with other competitions being held during the same timeframe they would be without a large number of Bay players.
She said another benefit of the tournament for the players was providing a competition to help improve their skill through being able to play people from outside of their club areas.
"This is only the second year that we've revived it and it's basically available for people to use to improve their tennis," Wilmhurst said.
She said entries closed today and the draw would be finalised tomorrow.
Wilmhurst said spectators were welcome to head along and enjoy the high standard of tennis that will be on display.