'There is nothing left': Fire destroys tennis champ's dream
LISMORE tennis champion Brendon Moore has spoken of the devastating fire which reduced his "career, passion and livelihood to rubble in mere minutes".
In the early hours of Friday morning, a fire broke out at the new multi-million- dollar Terranora Tennis Centre - the home of Moore Tennis Academy.
It took firefighters more than three hours to extinguish the blaze.
The damage bill is estimated at more than $700,000 and the building will probably be demolished.
"I didn't believe it when I got the phone call Friday morning," Mr Moore said.
"But when I drove over the hill, I saw everything had been reduced to smouldering ashes. There was nothing left."
The fire has put Moore Tennis Academy's 50-plus juniors in limbo. Many of them compete at a state and national level and train daily for upcoming competitions.
"This is literally my life, and more importantly, the life of the kids, and it's all gone," Mr Moore said.
"The kids have lost everything, their club house, equipment, home to train. Many of the kids compete and train on a full-time basis and now they're just in limbo.
"We literally have to start from scratch with not even a single ball."
The heartbreaking blow comes barely 12 months after Mr Moore moved his tennis academy to the Terranora Tennis Centre.
"We lost everything, from balls, to rackets, baskets, clothes, uniforms, grips, laptop, string, string machine, line markers, cones, drop lines, mini nets, coaches folder, every single thing," he said.
"Those things are built up over many, many years of coaching.
"With the support of friends and family, we've decided to launch this GoFundMe page, to help raise money for everything that has been lost, but more importantly to get all our players back out on the court doing what they love which is training and playing tennis."
The GoFundMe page can be found here: http://www.gofundme.com/mooretennisacademy