History of Elphin Sports Centre

The history of Elphin Sports Centre, formerly the Dowling Street Sports Centre, is outlined below organised by decades.

Should you have any history or photos you wish to contribute of the Centre please feel free to email them to contactus@elphinsportscentre.org.au

1960 - 1969

In 1961 the National Fitness Council Northern Office was instrumental in the formation of a Management Committee which then obtained a lease on Palm Grove, 56 Paterson Street, above Annears Garage for use as an indoor sports centre.  The annual rental paid to the owner was $1664 (£832)  During 1962 this committee began approaches to State and Federal Governments to obtain a grant to build a new sports centre as Palm Grove was very much sub-standard in size, condition and amenities. 

A grant of $46,000 (£23,000) was obtained in 1963 and efforts were then directed towards locating a suitable site.  Many possibilities were considered; among them were :- Cataract Quarry – N.T.L.T.A. Tennis Centre land fronting onto Olive Street – Mowbray Street – Lawrence Vale Road, Reservoir – Western side of Windmill Hill – Ogilvie Park – and of course Dowling Street. 

Dowling Street Construction 19 November 1964

The Committee formed itself into a Registered Incorporated Body in 1964 under the title of National Fitness Northern Recreation Association and signed a contract with Bushby Bros. Builders on 27th August, 1964 for the construction of the Dowling Street Centre.  Tender prices did not allow for the complete project of 2 halls, Table Tennis Centre, Change Rooms, Toilets, Office, Canteen, Meeting Room etc. with the amount of funds available.  The Tender price of $71,940 (£35,970) exceeded the Grant and an additional amount was obtained by Government Loan to enable the contract to proceed.  (This price did not include Hall 2, Meeting Room, Office, Foyer and Canteen.) 

Dowling Street Construction 8 December 1964

The Official Opening of the Centre took place on August 13th, 1965 and was performed by the Premier of the Day, The Right Honourable E. E. Reece.  Demonstrations of activities were given in Table Tennis, Badminton, Fencing and Basketball to entertain the crowd on the night. 

Dowling Street Construction December 1964
Dowling Street Construction February 1965

In December 1966, the lease of Palm Grove was terminated because of the sub-standard conditions which the committee had been unable to have rectified by the property owner to meet Health Department requirements.  It was at this point also that Mr Gordon Reid resigned as Secretary of the Committee, and as Regional Organiser of the National Fitness Council to return to N.S.W after 9 years with National Fitness and 5 years as Secretary to the Committee. 

At this stage the Committee had been served over the years by three Chairman, Namely the Late Mr Alan Colquhoun who held the position almost continuously from 1961 to 1964 and whose contribution to planning and design aspects at both Palm Grove and Dowling Street was invaluable, on top of his lifetime of dedicated service to Badminton; the late Mr Maurie Lowe, also a Badminton stalwart in addition to his involvement with N.T.F.A football, who had a brief period as Chairman and the late Mr Fred White who was the inaugural Chairman of the Incorporated Body from July 1964 until June 1969.  

Dowling Street Construction February 1965

He was active throughout Launceston in Civic and Sporting affairs, including a term as Mayor of Launceston, Administrator of St Leonards following the dismissal of the Council, a member of the State National Fitness Council, and instrumental in additional finance being obtained to further the development of the facilities at  Dowling Street. 

Members of the Committee with long standing involvement are Mr Ron Whittle (Vice President) whose involvement began with the establishment of Palm Grove in 1961 in his capacity as an electrical tradesman  as well as Badminton Delegate; Mr Allan Willox (President) Basketball Delegate from October 1962 and has been very involved with many of the basketball fittings installed at Dowling Street, eg. electronic scoreboards and associated equipment etc; Mr Ted Gleeson whose involvement as a National Fitness Officer from April 1962 involved promotion of activities at Palm Grove as well as attending Management Committee meetings, similar promotion at Dowling Street and since December 1966 as Secretary. 

1970 - 1979

Having obtained an additional Government Grant of $22,000 and Loans of $32,000 the committee called tenders in 1970 to construct the second hall, foyer, office, meeting room and canteen areas at a cost of $54,000. 

Mr Don Murray a prominent Badminton, Squash Player, and businessman took over as Chairman in 1969 to 1972 during the period when the additional facilities were added.  Mr John Martin took over as Chairman in 1972 until 1979 during which time funds were obtained from the Federal Government under the Regional Employment Development Scheme (R.E.D.S.) to line the three halls with timber, re-align the property fence on the Western boundary to provide space for squash development, and the construction of three concrete cricket wickets as compensation to the N.T.C.A for the extra land ceded to the Centre for Squash Courts.

Table Tennis 1971
Hall 2 Badminton 1971

A Federal Grant of $46,000 in 1974 plus a State Grant of $10,000 enabled 2 squash courts to be constructed instead of the 3 originally planned and without a viewing gallery which made the courts unsuitable for pennant or coaching  purposes.  The courts were opened in March 1978 and efforts continued to obtain funding to build a viewing gallery to make the courts fully functional.  Mr Martin was awarded Life Membership of Dowling Street by the Committee in 1979, and a special presentation took place during the half time interval at the first National Basketball League match to be played by Launceston Casino City at Dowling Street in February 1980. 

In July 1977 the Centre appointed its’ first manager, Mr Dennis Jones.  Dennis held the position until December 1978.  Mrs Hellen Proctor was appointed Manageress from February 1979 until December 1979.  

In July 1979, the Centre played host to three international basketball games played between the following teams:

  • U.S.A Women vs Northern Women – 6th July 1979
  • Australia Olympic Squad vs Colorado University – 8th July 1979
  • Mercer College U.S. vs Northern Boys – 11th July 1979

Mr Allan Willox has been Chairman of the Committee since 1979 and in this time a State Grant of $2,000 was obtained to enable a viewing gallery to proceed, and efforts are under way to seek the means to extend Hall 1 to accommodate additional Badminton/Basketball/Volleyball playing areas to meet the increasing needs of all groups for additional playing times. 

1980 - 1981

In January 1980 the Centre operated with two Manageresses on a job sharing basis when Mrs Margaret Hudson was appointed to the position along with Mrs Proctor, and this arrangement continued until October 1981.  Following Mrs Proctor’s resignation in October, Mrs Hudson was appointed sole Manageress.  

In 1980 Casino City Mens Basketball team won the NBL in a home game with Max Pike coach and in 1981 they played an exhibition match against West Virginia University team.

The Chairman of the Committee Mr Allan Willox relinquished the Chair in 1983 and elected Vice President.  Allan was awarded Life Membership in recognition of his years of service to the Centre.  The retiring Vice President Mr Peter Dunphy was elected Chairman.  1983 also saw the retirement of Mr Ted Gleeson who held the position of Secretary for a period of twenty one years.  Ted was awarded Life Membership in 1982.  Mrs Margaret Hudson was elected in the dual role of Secretary/Manageress.  In June 1984 the two Squash Courts were converted to one large area to be hired out to minor sports such as Martial Arts, Keep Fit Classes etc. 


Inside Hall 1 1976
Inside Hall 2 1976

January 1986 saw the kiosk being taken over by the Centre. 

Mr Ron Whittle was presented with Life Membership in 1987 after many years of service. 

Early 1988 Hall 1 and 2 became the victims of “dry rot” causing closure and cancellation of rosters until repaired late 1988.  Staff took a voluntary reduction in wages to ‘see the Centre through’.

A Bicentennial grant allocated by the Federal Government in 1985 of 1.25 million dollars saw  the completion of much needed extensions in 1988 – Hall 3 and 4, Change rooms, Office, Kiosk and The Allan Willox Mezzanine .  The Honourable Robin Gray M.H.A. Premier of Tasmania and Senator Terry Aulich  officially opened “The Elphin Sports Centre” on November 5th 1988.  The new address became Racecourse Crescent.

1990 - 1999

Mr Neil Evans received his Life Membership in 1990.

1991 saw the appointment of a night supervisor Mr John deWinter to curb vandalism and theft. 

Mrs Margaret Hudson resigned in March 1992 after 13 years of dedicated service.  Mrs Lyn Townsend was appointed the new Secretary/Manageress. 

Assistant Manageress Mrs Rhonda Boerth retired in November 1992 after 12 years of service. 

Mr Peter Dunphy – Chairman since 1982 was presented with Life Membership 1992 for his continuing service and support to the Centre. 

A grant of $1500 from Sport & Recreation saw the joining of the old and new buildings by a covered walkway in April 1993.  

In 1994, the Under 14 Boys Club Championships were held at the Elphin Sports Centre. 

Outside looking towards Hall 1 1976

1995 saw the Launceston women’s basketball team Tornadoes (Coach Michael House) win the National CBA final.  Semi-final against Mackay played at Elphin Sports Centre with a capacity crowd of 1400. 

In 1996 the Launceston Tornadoes again made the Conference final against Knox losing by 1 point. 

Mr John deWinter tendered his resignation in 1996.  Mr Craig Minns was appointed as Manager’s Assistant. 

$2500 was received in the same year from the East Ward of Launceston City Council to effect minor capital works. 

1997 saw pavers donated by Besser for the Barbeque Area.  Ten Toilet Cisterns were also donated by Exeter Hardware to replace vandalised units.


A Maintenance Plan was financed by the Tasmanian Government in 1998.  This recommended an annual budget of $25,000 for the next 5 years. Elphin Sports Centre produced their own Business Plan. 

An unstable wall in Hall 1 was repaired with a donation from Gunns.  Work was done voluntarily by Grant Mitchell and John Hill. 

Soon after the fire brigade did their check of the fire hydrants we experienced a burst fire hydrant pipeline alongside courts 3 and 4.  Having insufficient funds to correct this problem an approach was made to the Tasmanian Government for assistance. 

Hall 2 Badminton 1976

$15,000  was received from the Tasmanian Government to repair part of Fire Hydrant Pipes ($13,000) and Hot Water Cylinder ($2,000).   

Refurbishment of old change rooms was completed by Elphin Sports Centre – $7000 reseal floor, $4500 paint, $2700 windows and $3100 for ventilation fans. 

In 1999 the Scoreboard systems in new halls were repaired ($6000).  Additional repair work to scoreboards was done voluntarily by Allan Willox and Allan Butt.  Mr Geoffrey McCarthy retired after ten years of service and his son Philip McCarthy started as the new cleaner. 

Badminton Carnival April (Australasian) 1999 was interrupted by a “100 year” flood. Part of courts 3 and 4 and the foyer were inundated with water. The main reason being the council drain which was blocked in Dowling Street and all Elphins’ drains were blocked with woodchips from the landscaping that was done by the Launceston City Council.  The floor surface of both courts had to be re-varnished and as a consequence, the end floorboards have a slight warp. 

2000 - 2009

October of 2000 saw another “100 year” flood occur and again court 3 and the foyer inundated with water.  The cause being the same problem as before. Fortunately,  no great damage was done to the floor.  Soon after the council upgraded the drain in Dowling Street to a new standard.

Repairs had to be made to our hydraulic (Acromat) basketball backboards after one collapsed due to metal fatigue.  Examination of the second unit also indicated we would anticipate further problems in the same area.  Acromat agent in Melbourne came over and inspected all backboards in halls 3 and 4,  and recommendations were made to correct the metal fatigue problem and to bring up supports on swing-out backboards to the new standard.  This was completed soon after. 

Half-Time Entertainment Junior Basketball, Mens CBA Roster 1990

In the Easter holidays of 2001 Table Tennis volunteers painted their hall. Basketball, Badminton and Table Tennis volunteers completed the painting of the hallway and foyers in the old building.  Paint donated by Dulux and Painters Pot. 

Kym Shilton (L’ton City Council) requested the Elphin Sports Centre to attend a strategic planning session in July of 2001 with other interested groups in the immediate vicinity regarding a proposed aquatic centre.  The City Council decided to investigate the building of a new aquatic centre in the town and the area next to our centre was eventually chosen to be the prime target.  Conceptual plans were drawn up and meetings were held between various parties – ie: cricket, tennis, basketball, badminton etc.  It appears that all the land in the vicinity (with the exception of the indoor sports arena) has been transferred to the city council (includes the land on which the Elphin Sports Centre is situated). 

July 30th the Board convened a meeting of all user club presidents to discuss possible litigation problems caused by water dripping on the floors from rain via leaks on roofs.   Subsequently, a letter was written to the Premier of the state requesting financial assistance to overcome the problem. 

A petition was gathered from users in August 2001 of Elphin Sports Centre to remain a safe affordable and accessible sporting facility for all members of the community to present to state/local government. 

Flooding of Dowling Street behind Halls 3 & 4

August 9th front page of the Examiner with headlines “Elphin’s funding fiasco” enlisted immediate response from the state government with a visit by Tom Black from the Premier’s department.  Finals games of the LSBL were cancelled on Wednesday 15th August due to rain water leaks.  Government advisors inspected the premises next day and subsequently monies were allocated to effect some repairs to the roofs.  The government appointed a consultant who made a thorough inspection of the Centre with work place safety of main concern and a report issued.  Monies were allocated for further works to be completed as soon as possible – this involved emergency lighting, extra lighting in halls 3 and 4, doors to be fixed etc.  It was anticipated that monies were to be allocated at the rate of $100,000 per year for the next 5 years, at which time the City Council would then be asked to take over the repairs and maintenance of the Centre. 

October of 2001 saw a wall was built between buildings to alleviate vandalism and burglary problems. Voluntary work done by Grant and Cheyne Mitchell. 

Australasian Under 14 Girls Club Basketball Championships were successfully held in October 2001 followed immediately by Ede Clendinen Shield National Teams Championships & Australasian Closed Individual Badminton Championships. 

A third flood occurred on Tuesday 27 November 2001.  Courts 3 and 4 and the car park flooded after a heavy rainstorm (duration 15 minutes).  Drains in Dowling Street again failed to take the quantity of rain. 

The Australian Baptist Basketball Championships were held January 2002.

Also during 2002 The 30 x 400 watt lights in Halls 3 and 4 were replaced with 48 x 400 watt lights, giving approx 550 lux at 1 metre above floor level – the 30 lights removed are to be located in halls 1 and 2 at a later stage.  The surrounding drains of Elphin Sports Centre were cleaned out with a backhoe, filter mats laid down and covered with blue metal to try and fix the flooding problems every time it rained. 

August 2002 saw a troublesome time for Elphin Sports Centre regarding public liability insurance and the ongoing operation of the Centre. On the 19th of August, replies were finally received to the effect that no public liability insurance could be arranged and so notices were placed on the hall doors to say that the Centre would be closed as from 4.00 pm on Friday 23 August, 2002. 

Headlines in the Examiner on Wednesday 21st August elicited many offers of help and advice. 

Intas Insurance came to the party with a quote and the State Government’s offer to fund the difference between a standard price rise and the resultant cost was accepted in time to keep the Centre open for a further 12 months. 

August 2002 also saw Will Edwards of Douglas & Collins contracted to try and find out “ownership” from the Crown on Elphin Sports Centre’s behalf.  

Examiner Article 28 November 2001

In October of 2002 extra monies were made available for further upgrading of the Centre and a list of priorities was forwarded to the consultant (Peter Holloway – Locke HDM Architects) for consideration.

In June of 2003, Volunteer Recognition Certificates from the Launceston City Council were presented to Peter Dunphy, Allen Willox and Allan Butt (Electrician) for their efforts at Elphin Sports Centre.

The proposed Aquatic Centre was changed to incorporate other sports and became the Elphin Sports Precinct proposal.

Launceston City Council assisted the Centre with payment of Rates and Taxes, Public Liability and recoating of floor surfaces to overcome a shortfall in the Centre’s finances.

After a short battle with cancer vice president, Allen Willox passed away on 27th July 2003.  His never-ending voluntary assistance and help at the Elphin Sports Centre will be greatly missed by all sports at the Centre. 

During 2004 the NTABA (LJBL, LSBL) installed new backboards to Courts 1 and 2 at a cost of  $15000.

Later in 2004, the Australian Opals Basketball Team played a qualifying final for the Oceania region to qualify for the Olympics winning against the New Zealand Tall Ferns (12th September 2004)

Hellen Proctor former manageress of Dowling Street Sports Centre and life member of NTABA died on 15th April, 2005 after battling cancer for many years – another tireless volunteer worker for Basketball and the Elphin Sports Centre who will be sorely missed. 

In May 2005 Peter Dunphy was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for Voluntary Services by the Launceston City Council for his voluntary work for the Launceston Community.

During June 2005 upgrades and repairs and maintenance for the Elphin Sports Centre were completed from the list of priorities by the State Government.

2003 FIBA Oceania Championships - Opals v Tall Ferns, 12th September 2003

The Launceston City Council announced that the Elphin Sports Precinct was no longer viable and that an aquatic centre would be built beside the existing Windmill Hill complex.  A new court was committed to the Elphin Sports Centre by Council and Government, expected to be built by the end 2005.  

It is expected that this court will be attached to the end of Court 4. 

In October 2005, Launceston City Council decided not to take on the Silverdome and as a consequence, Elphin Sports Centre and Silverdome were passed back to the Government. In November 2005 it was announced that Elphin Sports Centre would receive $500,000 for capital works.  Early December a cheque for $150,000 was presented to Peter Dunphy by Jim Cox MHA. This was spent on purchasing new backboards for courts 3 and 4, table tennis tables and badminton equipment.  Tables and chairs were also purchased for the Mezzanine. 

March 2006, a newsletter for Elphin Sports Centre was produced and circulated to users updating them on grants received from the State Labour Government and improvements and upgrades to the Centre.  The response was excellent, and it is intended to produce one regularly. 

9th June, 2006 the balance of the government grant $350,000 was received.  This will enable further upgrades to commence as soon as building approval from Crown and Council is received. 

New backboards in courts 3 and 4, heat pumps in mezzanine were installed and finished in July, 2006.

Further spending of the grant in March 2007 saw security cameras installed in office, kiosk, foyer and car park as well as new scoreboards for halls 3 and 4. 

May 2007, mezzanine & disabled toilet upgrade, storage facility and disabled lift works were completed.

2007 U18 National Basketball Championships, 7th July to 14th July 2007

In July 2007, Elphin Sports Centre hosted successfully for the first time in Tasmania, the combined Australasian Under 18 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. 

After inspection in July prior to the basketball championships, Workplace Safety declared seating in Hall 1 unsafe, as well as steps in all halls to all seating. Seating was demolished in January 2008 and stairs made safe. 

In August 2007, Elphin Sports Centre played host to the National Indoor Bias Bowls Championships. 

October 27, 2007 WNBL teams Dandenong Jayco Rangers played Sydney Uni Flames.  

Early January 2008 saw the National Baptist Basketball Carnival hosted at Elphin Sports Centre. Mr Peter Dunphy was awarded an Australia Day 2008 Citizens Award by the Launceston City Council for his services to the Elphin Sports Centre since 1962. 

2008 also saw Launceston City Council hand ownership of bleacher seating (21 sets) to Elphin Sports Centre. 

Later in 2008, WNBL teams Dandenong Jayco Rangers played new WNBL QLD team Logan Thunder (11th October, 2008). 

November 2008, seating was replaced in Hall 1 by the State Government and the Centre purchased netting to cover mezzanine windows as indoor soccer becomes increasingly popular.

In September 2009, Action Packed Pty Ltd took on naming rights of Elphin Sports Centre, with the Centre being known as Action Packed Stadium managed by Elphin Sports Centre for 3 years.

2010 - 2019

During February 2010 a Sport & Recreation grant ($160600) was obtained to completely sand back, recoat and apply new line markings to comply with Basketball and Badminton current court markings as well as maintenance of lift, sewerage and plumbing issues after many approaches to the government.

Pat McCormack was awarded with an OAM for services to the community in June 2010.

June of 2010 also saw another flooding of Halls 3 & 4 along with the foyer following torrential rain. 

2007 National Indoor Bias Bowls Championships - 19th to 25th August 2007

Elphin was advised in September 2010 that Crown Lands Department will pay rates and taxes until the lease of Elphin Sports Centre complex is sorted out. 

In January 2011 all courts were sanded, the line marked and recoated.

Halls 3 and 4 were closed in July 2011 until October 2011 due to the surface becoming too slippery and dangerous for any sporting activity. Sport & Rec. paid for the resurfacing as a considerable loss of income was incurred due to the two courts being closed. 

On February 16th 2012, Pat McCormack (Vice President) passed away after a long battle with cancer. 

A large leak was found in February 2012 in our car park due to pipe deterioration. Crown Lands financed the repair.

During June 2012 thick layers of dust began to permeate our centre, causing slippery courts again. Dust is thought to be coming from Toll car park in Dowling Street (silicone gravel). Contacted Launceston City Council regarding the dust, however, it is difficult to prove and the Council suggested we tape up all exits etc to stop dust entering the building. Matter of dust unresolved.

Elphin Sports Centre Covered by Snow - August 2020

Elphin Sports Centre hosted the 2012 National Indoor Bias Bowls Championships in August 2012 successfully.

In January 2013 the Northern Baptist Basketball Association hosted the 2013 National Baptist Basketball Carnival at Elphin Sports Centre, however, problems again with Hall 3 and 4 with the recoating of the halls.  Floor varnish had not taken to the previous coating causing rejection. Baptist Carnival was unable to use Hall 3 and 4, resulting in loss of income to the Centre. Temporary repairs were undertaken to fix the floors.

Brian Wightman, MHA, assisted Elphin to obtain monies to cover the cost of floor product as well as money to do maintenance on the roof/gutters of both buildings after heavy rains caused major internal leaks.  

During 2013 four sets of indoor soccer (futsal) goals were purchased as growing soccer rosters justified the purchase.

The table tennis floorboards had become a big health and safety risk. Department of Primary Industries, Water & Environment sought quotes to repair/replace. 

The year also saw the completion of the new car park for the Tennis Centre.  This car park is invaluable to us as well as a much-needed overflow car park situated on the driveway into our Centre. 

New security/system cameras were updated and installed. 

Department of Primary Industries, Water & Environment met with the Elphin Board and asked Elphin to forward a “wish list” for the Elphin Sports Centre. 

October 2014 saw a successful Under 15 National Badminton Carnival hosted at Elphin Sports Centre. 

In January 2015 Basketball Tasmania relocated its head office to the Elphin Sports Centre, while later in May 2015 after years of continued persistence the table tennis floor was overlayed. The money for this was provided by the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment.   

In August 2015 Secretary/Manageress Lyn Townsend was awarded Life Membership.

Mr John Bye resigned in August 2016 as Elphin Sports Centre’s auditor after many years due to ill health. Powell Accounting were appointed as the new Auditor for Elphin Sports Centre. 

The Board of Management approved the installation of solar panels and LCD lighting to replace the old metal halide system in all the halls on a payback plan over 84 months in September 2016. The savings on power would well and truly cover the payback. Crown Lands would not supply a letter of support required by the lending facility, so Elphin was required to pay for the lighting improvements to Halls 1 and 2 from its own funds.   

2017 was a busy year for Elphin, with the Centre successfully hosting both the National Baptist Basketball Championships in January and the Australasian National Under 17 Badminton Championships in April 

In July 2017, Elphin secured a grant for $230,000 from the State Liberal Government for upgrade/replacement of dividing curtain of Halls 3 & 4, retractable bleacher seating and if any monies remain, other urgent upgrades/repairs & maintenance. 

In September 2017 Peter Singline was awarded with Life Membership.

Elphin Sports Centre Covered by Snow - August 2020

The dividing curtain was replaced with monies from the 2017 grant during October 2017, while additional funds from the grant upgraded the Hall 3 & 4 lighting with LEDs in January 2018. Further funds from the grant also allowed for the upgrading of the Car Park lights to LEDs well as the Car Park lights also with LEDs in June 2018.

Crown Lease signed and commenced for 10 years for  Elphin Sports Centre from Crown Lands in July 2018.  

July 2018 also saw Elphin Sports Centre receive a grant for $90,000 from the 2018 State Election Commitment on behalf of the Liberal Government.  This will be used for Air-Conditioners in Main Office, Kiosk and Peter Dunphy Meeting Room, Table Tennis Hall lights replaced with LEDs, replacement of Mezzanine carpet and lighting, other urgent upgrades/repairs & maintenance including solar if funds allow. 

In September 2018 Julie-Anne Thomas was awarded Life Membership.  

The new 10 sets of Bleacher seating arrived in October 2018 (Funded from the July 2017 $230,000 Grant).  2 sets of the old bleacher seating kept to be refurbished. 10 sets of old seats were donated to Gymnastics in Sorell and the remaining 8 sets of bleacher seating were demolished. 

Elphin Carpark Flooding 2019
Elphin Carpark Flooding 2019

In December 2018 the Mezzanine and Table Tennis Hall lights were upgraded to LEDs, new carpet tiles were installed in the Mezzanine and entry foyer. It also saw the installation of air conditioners in Peter Dunphy Meeting Room, main office and kiosk along with the installation of solar panels completed the grant from the Liberal Government State Election grant of $90,000. 

Also in December 2018, the Centre also purchased an AED which will be placed in the main foyer. 

In February 2019 the main carpark flooded for 3 days due to a burst fire hydrant pipe. Taswater were unable to locate stop tap.  Crown Lands were responsible for repairs caused by the burst pipe.

Following years of issues with the old roof on Halls 1 and 2 leaking during heavy rain, the Centre received a grant for $400,000 ex GST to replace the roof and other associated repairs & maintenance on Halls 1 and 2 from the Liberal Government State Budget grants for the 2019-20 financial year. 

With the grant received, the Centre sought applications for replacing the roof etc. and Skyline Roofing were the successful applicant in October of 2019 with working beginning in January 2020.

2020 - 2029

Mofo (MONA FOMA) held part of their January 2020 festival at the Elphin Sports Centre for a week. Excellent reports on the show and on our facility from many interstate visitors attending.  

In February 2020, the Australian National Badminton Championships were hosted successfully at Elphin Sports Centre. 

March of 2020 saw the COVID-19 pandemic affect the Centre and in late March Elphin Sports Centre closed due to COVID-19 pandemic as per Public Health directive.

Elphin's AEDs

In April 2020 the Tasmanian Health Department took over the Centre to operate as a COVID-19 drive-thru testing clinic. 

After the months of closure, Elphin Sports Centre reopened in July 2020 for the resumption of rosters etc. within Public Health COVID-19 guidelines.

In August 2020 the Centre received a 2nd AED from the Tasmanian Ambulance Grant Fund. With this AED being placed in the Dowling Street Foyer. This now has an AED in each building.

December 2020 saw the Centre adopted the Tasmanian Government Check-In Tas App for contact tracing, which became mandatory for all visitors to the venue until it’s removal by the Tasmanian Government in Early 2022.

Following the 2021 State Election, Elphin Sports Centre received confirmation in June 2021 that it had been successful in receiving an $80,000 grant for the 2021-2022 financial year to upgrade the aging PA & Security System.

In November of 2021, Elphin Sports Centre played host to 2 showcase games during the NBL Blitz 2021 with the Tasmanian JackJumpers playing the Cairns Taipans and the Adelaide 36ers playing the Perth Wildcats. Games were played in front of a crowd of 800 (Restricted due to COVID-19). This marked the first game of the Tasmanian JackJumpers to be played in Launceston since their formation during 2020.

March 2022 saw the Security System upgrade completed, providing better security coverage of the Elphin Sport Centre and it’s grounds.

In June of 2022, Elphin Sports Centre played host to the Tasmanian Pickleball State Tournament, with the tournament being a success.

Thanks to sponsorship from Davis Contracting, August 2022 saw the installation of new padding for the run-offs from Halls 3 & 4, which replaced the aging padding that had been there for many years. 

September 8th 2022 saw the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers return to Elphin to play a preseason match against the South East Melbourne Phoenix.

Mid October 2022 saw a successful National Special Olympics competition hosted at Elphin Sports Centre (along with other venues around Launceston). Elphin played host to the Basketball, as well as being one of the major hubs for the event.

New Padding Supported by Sponsorship from Davis Contracting

November 2022 saw the return of the Gems & Minerals Show after 2 years off due to COVID-19. In an expanded form, spacing out over two halls, compared to the previous single hall, the show was one of the biggest held in Tasmania and was a huge success.

In early December 2022, the Tasmanian Government announced that they would be investing $900,000 into Elphin Sports Centre to help with making the Centre more disability-friendly.

March 2023 saw the completion of the PA system upgrades, thanks to the 2021 State Election grant. The upgraded systems provide better facilities at Elphin allowing for functions and events, while also providing a better emergency PA system for communication throughout the building.

August 30th, 2023 saw the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers return again to Elphin to play a preseason match, this time against Melbourne United.

Thanks to sponsorship from Ryan Pendergast, of Liberty Finance, padding was installed in Hall 1 in the run off areas. The padding was later rebranded to Blue Gum Loans, when Ryan moved away from Liberty, but wished to maintain his sponsorship of Elphin.

During the school holidays in October 2023, former Olympians Lauren Jackson and Michele Timms visited the Centre to run clinics under the Basketball Australia SheHoops Program in conjunction with the Launceston Basketball Association.


January 2024 saw the Centre play host to the National Baptist Basketball Carnival, with the tournament being a great success.

Thanks to sponsorship from Sushi Plus, further padding was installed in Hall early February in the run off areas, further increasing the safety for players. 

Following the Tasmanian Jack Jumpers winning the NBL Championship in the 2024 NBL Final Series, Elphin played host to the ‘Thank You Tasmania’ tour in April 2024. The Tour saw the Championship Trophy, Head Coach Scott Roth, Captain Clint Steindl and CEO Christine Finnegan come to Elphin to a packed house, where fans were able to see the trophy and meet Head Coach Scott Roth and Captain Clint Steindl.

2024 NBL Championship Trophy
2024 NBL Championship Trophy