Serv­ing up a Surf Coast su­per­power

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - LACHIE YOUNG

TEN­NIS lovers in the Surf Coast have a brand new club to call home af­ter the amal­ga­ma­tion of three lo­cal clubs.

Fol­low­ing on­go­ing dis­cus­sions for the past 18 months, Torquay, Jan Juc and Bell­brae ten­nis clubs have formed a sin­gle en­tity to be known as Surf Coast Ten­nis Club, which will be aimed at sup­port­ing and pro­mot­ing the sport in the area.

Club cap­tain Sam Rogers has been one of the main in­sti­ga­tors of the move and said it did not make sense to have three or­gan­i­sa­tions so close by to each other to be in com­pe­ti­tion for play­ers and mem­bers.

“I have played on and off for Torquay and Jan Juc for the last eight years but it’s fair to say there are a few fair weather ten­nis play­ers who didn’t want to play in the win­ter.

“I had my­self and a cou­ple of guys at Jan Juc and knew a cou­ple of guys who were back at Torquay who were look­ing for a team, and it seemed silly not to play in one team given we weren’t that far apart.

“It oc­curred to me that that might be some­thing re­ally con­ve­nient to do more often and started think­ing about it more se­ri­ously, be­cause the two clubs were prob­a­bly not re­ally of­fer­ing ev­ery­thing they could. There was a be­gin­ners’ night and so­cial night at Torquay and then one at Jan Juc col­lapsed due to a lack of num­bers.

“What was go­ing to hap­pen was one club was go­ing to re­ally well and the oth­ers would find a re­place­ment for Ben Bose­ley. But it’s prov­ing dif­fi­cult. “We’ve got a meet­ing on Satur­day (to­day) where we’ll chat to the se­nior lead­er­ship group and if we haven’t at­tracted any in­ter­est by then we’ll have a look at a cou­ple of col­lapse, so we put a pro­posal to­gether (to form one club, with Bell­brae) and have gone from there.”

The club’s Torquay site has just had four courts up­graded but Surf Coast will be main­tain­ing all three venues and en­sur­ing that ten­nis con­tin­ues at all three lo­ca­tions, with mem­bers able to ac­cess all fa­cil­i­ties and have the op­por­tu­nity to play ten­nis on a va­ri­ety of sur­faces.

The first com­mit­tee will be made up of 12 mem­bers from the last com­mit­tees of the three con­stituent clubs to en­sure equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion through­out the tran­si­tion.

Rogers said there were also plans to hold the in­au­gu­ral Surf Coast club cham­pi­onships across sum­mer as well as reg­u­lar club nights, ju­nior events and other ten­nis-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties such as Car­dio Ten­nis.

“One of the things I was re­ally keen on do­ing is get­ting the club cham­pi­onships up and run­ning be­cause we hadn’t had them for 30 years,” he said.

“We’re very keen to pre­serve the his­tory of each of the three clubs. When we started talk­ing about our club cham­pi­onships I looked through our tro­phy cab­i­net and we have a tro­phy in there that was from 1933.

“That is now our ladies dou­bles tro­phy and to me that is re­ally cool be­cause we are reusing that club his­tory.” guys who are luke­warm about do­ing the job,” Pad­dock said.

“They would make great coaches, but we’ll see if they put their hand up on the day.

“I don’t know whether it’s a thin mar­ket or what’s hap­pen­ing, but I do know a cou­ple of CDFL clubs are strug­gling to

Pic­ture: MIKE DUGDALE

NEW FORCE: Torquay, Jan Juc and Bell­brae ten­nis clubs have merged to form the Surf Coast Ten­nis Club. Surf Coast of­fi­cials Kristie Wal­ters, Sam Rogers and Peter Hubacek pre­pare for the start of the new sea­son.

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