Eden­dale club marks 40 years

Central Leader - - Sport - By Scott Mor­gan

Turn­ing 40 is gen­er­ally con­sid­ered an im­por­tant mile­stone.

The Eden­dale Ten­nis mid­week ladies club, which will cel­e­brate the an­niver­sary at the end of this month, is no ex­cep­tion.

Club founder Mary Cole formed the group af­ter de­cid­ing she wanted to play ten­nis dur­ing the week as well as on the week­end.

“We rang around all our friends and got 17 girls to­gether. They called us the Thurs­day girls.”

The San­dring­ham res­i­dent says the group was ini­tially aimed at re­cruit­ing young mums.

“The area is so safe for chil­dren. At one stage we had 35 preschool­ers run­ning around.

“In those days we didn’t send kids to day­care.”

But with more women work­ing, Mrs Cole says the face of the group has changed.

The 20 play­ers range in age from the 40s to the 80s, with many mem­bers main­tain­ing their links de­spite mov­ing out of the area.

While there’s plenty of com­pet­i­tive­ness out on the court, the women also get up to plenty of so­cial­is­ing, with shared lunches tak­ing place at least once a month.

Club cap­tain Carol Halls, who has been a mem­ber of the group for 33 years, says she loves meet­ing up with the group ev­ery Thurs­day, de­spite no longer be­ing able to play for health rea­sons.

“There’s plenty of ca­ma­raderie. Many of us have been friends for years.”

The 85-year-old club has two courts that its 140 mem­bers use.

There are also plenty of fam­ily con­nec­tions at the club, with Mrs Cole’s six chil­dren play­ing at Eden­dale over the years. She also has three grand­chil­dren among Eden­dale’s 60 ju­niors.

“It’s a thrill to have them here,” she says.

If you are a for­mer mem­ber of the mid­week group and would like to join in the cel­e­bra­tions at the club on April 30, phone Carol on 620-7314.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Still got it: Eden­dale Ten­nis Club mid­week ladies group founder Mary Cole shows she can still han­dle a rac­quet on the court. The group cel­e­brates its 40th an­niver­sary at the end of this month.

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