Caro Bowl comes to Karaka
Caro Bowl tennis is coming to Karaka.
And it’s all down to the success of the club’s premier men’s team led by Nigel Allen that Auckland Tennis’ oldest and most prestigious inter-club competition is coming to the Karaka Tennis Club.
Allen, with long time tennis buddies Antony Old, 40, Brad Paterson, 41, Jacob Olsen, 34, Rod Cook, 41, and youngsters Jack Guilford, 20, and Tate Fullerton, 16, beat Mission Bay 6-0 to win the Caro Bowl reserve grade competition and elevation to the big league.
It’s a first for the 30-year-old club and only the second time that a South Auckland club has appeared in the premier ranks of the 98-year-old competition.
Mangere Combined were the first. They won the women’s title in 2007.
Karaka’s elevation is a dream come true for the 38-year-old Allen, whose dad Graeme is a life member of the club.
‘‘After returning to the Karaka in 2012, I decided it would be great to get a bunch of mates and guys I grew up playing juniors with, with a long-term view of getting Caro Bowl out to Karaka within five years,’’ Allen said.
‘‘I thought it would be great to bring something special to the club and create a bit of history along the way.’’
That the team achieved it’s goal in only four years is testament to how well Allen, Paterson, Olsen and Cook were playing in their twilight years.
The plan gathered momentum when two former top New Zealand juniors Brad Paterson and Rod Cook joined the crusade.
Karaka club president Wayne Kidd said the result was a positive story that would certainly put the club on the map.
‘‘The Caro Bowl is usually the domain of the big city tennis clubs that compete for one of eight spots. They have impressive membership bases and the financial means to buy in players. For a small club from rural South Auckland entering this domain shows that if you work hard dreams do come true.
‘‘This can do winning attitude, combined with the sponsorship from Concretec plus the buy in from club supporters, means the 2017/2018 season will be one to remember.’’
Karaka is looking for an ATP Top 400 player to spearhead their campaign which starts on October 17.