Celebrating 50 years
THE success of Gorey Tennis Club is due to its outstanding trustees and hard-working members and are now, with no surprise, celebrating 50 years as a recognized club in Gorey town.
The major milestone will be marked at a special party for members, past and present, on Saturday, October 13, at 7.30 p.m., at the Ashdown Park Hotel. Tickets are €15 and available from any committee member or call Ann Rooney on 087 695 3205.
On the July 24, 1967 a small group of tennis enthusiasts came together with the idea of setting up a tennis club in Gorey and lands adjoining Gorey Badminton Club on Esmonde Street were acquired. The Tennis Club with its new constitution was officially opened in June 1968. Original Trustees of the Club were Dr John P Nixon, John French and Garry Lombard.
Success in Leinster came early to the club when 1973 Gorey Tennis Club was successful in winning the Provincial Towns Cup Trophy.
In 1976, the club were granted planning permission for a new modern club house and two extra courts. The work on the club house was done by voluntary labour, with most of the building materials and equipment provided free or at reduced prices from local Gorey firms.
Also, in 1976 following the death of Anne Roice, the first Anne Roice Memorial Tennis Tournament took place, and to this day is still played every June, followed by the annual barbecue.
However, there was a huge burden on the club to meet running costs of the club and in 1990, the decision was made to sell the clubhouse. Fortunately, Gorey Boxing Club had been established a year earlier, under the guidance of Bill and Anne Sheeran (Grandparents of Ed Sheeran) and they were actively looking for suitable premises. They bought the club house and as a result debts were cleared and a new chapter could begin.
In 1993 the original two courts were resurfaced and flood lights installed which meant that tennis could now be played all year round.
In 1995 the Joe Hendley Memorial Tournament, a Junior Tournament sponsored by Joe’s family began. A great variety of junior names are engraved on this trophy to this day.
In 1998 a new club house was built and a year later the four courts were resurfaced providing facilities on Omni Courts. In November 1999 these new courts were officially opened by Dr John P Nixon.
In that same year, and in memory of the late Conor McKenna, the first match in the Conor McKenna Memorial Tournament took place, with Lee Biddulph and Kimberely Feehan being the first names engraved on the trophy. Every September since this tournament is played by the Club Juniors.
In late 2017 the club was successful in obtaining a Sports Grant from the National Lottery. Along with club funds and this grant, Gorey Tennis Club officially opened its new refurbished courts – new LED lighting, court surfaces and fencing on the September 13, 2018. The club were delighted to have Garry Lombard perform the task of officially opening the courts and the Irish Blind Tennis Team played an exhibition match.
On the death of Dr John P Nixon in 2003, the honour of being President passed to his son, Dr Sean Nixon. At his request, the role of President should alternate every two years and in 2006 the club invited Brona Dore to become the first Lady President of the club.
The club is an extremely active one, hosting a range of tournaments and events throughout the year.
Within the Junior Season we hold the following: Joe Hendley, Conor McKenna and Christopher Rooney Memorial Tournaments; Jimmy Mc Donald Perpetual Tournament; Wimbledon; Club Championships; Halloween Fancy Dress; Winter League (sponsored by Andrew Curran of Donal’s, Main Street, Gorey.)
Our Seniors are also kept busy with the Club Championships; Anne Roice Memorial Tournament & barbecue; Wimbledon; Autumn League; Halloween Fancy Dress Competition; Kris Kindle Night; Club Tournament every Thursday Nights; St Aidan’s League.
Coaching in the Tennis Club has been essential to the success of the club, and we’ve been lucky in the coaches that have been part of the club. Our current coach Jamie Stafford offers weekly coaching sessions for juniors and seniors as well as tennis camps during school holidays.
Our Committee over the past 50 years have given their time freely and along with all present and past members have made Gorey Tennis Club the success it is today. The club can boast to have facilities of the highest standard anywhere in Ireland. It caters to all levels of ability, from the player who just wants some fun, social tennis to those who want to pit themselves against the very best. It is a great place for younger tennis enthusiasts too with a thriving junior section, making this a very family-friendly tennis club.
We hope that when the club celebrates its 100th year, that Gorey Tennis Club will be still adding memories and be an active club in Gorey.
Tennis season starts in May annually. Currently the membership fees are €130 Senior; €40 Junior and Student and Family Membership €220.
1967/03 – Dr John P Nixon 2004/05 – Dr Sean Nixon 2006/7 – Brona Dore 2008/9 – Diarmuid Swords 2010/11 - Ann Bernie 2012/13 - Paddy Byrne 2014/15 - Laura Funge 2016/17- James Geoghegan 2018/19- Carmel Roice