Construction work to rebuild three courts at Stokes Bay Tennis Club has begun, signalling a fresh new era for the tight-knit community whose sporting venue was destroyed in the recent summer bushfires.
The fire further burned down the adjacent sports club hall kitchen and clubrooms - all of which were renovated late last year.
Yet optimistic tennis club member Marina Gregor says court works, which began last week, have been a welcomed sight.
"It's a community asset...and while it caters for a small tennis team, the overall club hosts 20-30 spectators," she said.
Included in the rebuild is three tennis courts, fencing, lighting, plus an additional basketball court for further community engagement.
It's a community asset...and while it caters for a small tennis team, the overall club hosts 20-30 spectators.Stokes Bay Tennis Club member Marina Gregor
"We aim to be done by the start of summer," she said. In time for the tennis season.
"But before Christmas would be nice," she added.
So far rubble and poles are in place with fencing and footings to follow.
Ms Gregor highlighted Tony Willson from A & G Earthmovers for kindly donating the rubble and equipment, along with local contractor Kevin Warner chipping in support.
While the rebuild is estimated at $300,000, the project has been supported by a $50,000 grant from the Commonwealth Bank Bushfire Recovery Grant program.
It was also boosted by Stokes Bay Tennis Club members' fundraising efforts including $65,000 through the leasing of sheep, the sale of lambs, wool and mutton.
"So a fair chunk had already been raised [by members] as we were planning to upgrade within the next five years," she said.
Importantly, Ms Gregor said the Stokes Bay courts provide much more than a competitive or friendly game of tennis.
"The courts are really about providing a fitness, mental health and social venue for the community," she said.
Despite the fires and COVID-19 hitting the community with a double whammy, Ms Gregor added how the straight-forward project now signals hope.