Shepparton News

Echuca clubs become one

LAWN AND SOUTH MERGE AHEAD OF SEASON WHICH AT PRESENT HAS NO OFFICIAL START DATE

- — with Rohan Aldous

Echuca Lawn and Echuca South tennis officials ratified a merger of the longtime Campaspe Tennis Associatio­n rivals at a combined annual general meeting of the clubs late last month.

The merger was rubberstam­ped at the meeting, which took place in spite of the uncertaint­y surroundin­g the start to the new season.

Nick Bush is the new interim president of Echuca Lawn Tennis Club and Daryl Poole will continue for the time being as Echuca South Tennis Club president.

As earlier suggested the two clubs will combine to form Echuca Tennis Club prior to the new season starting and will contest the Goulburn Murray and Campaspe tennis competitio­ns.

A memorandum of understand­ing has been approved by the clubs for the merger and Echuca South will conduct an extraordin­ary general meeting to finalise the process.

Bush said the clubs would have another meeting in a month’s time when the office bearers of the new Echuca Tennis Club would be elected.

“It has been decided that two members from each club will fill the top four positions with the new club

committee,” Bush said.

Bush steps into the role to replace long time Lawn president Brian Gledhill, who had spent eight years as president of the club.

The former Lawn president has relocated to Albury and said it was a good note on which to leave the club, realising the goal of amalgamati­ng the two clubs.

The club’s new name was one of the hotly debated topics of general business prior to the general meeting, but seems to sit well with both parties.

There is still no word on a start date for the season after the annual general

meeting of Campaspe Tennis Associatio­n was “short and sharp”, with attendees resolving to discuss the matter further on September 23.

Associatio­n president Ryan Byrne said while the AGM went ahead as planned, it was unable to reach a resolution on a start date for the season.

“Most clubs were a bit hesitant to make plans and thought we would be better off meeting again, when we knew more about Victorian lockdown conditions,” Byrne said.

“As such, we will meet again (via Zoom) on September

23 when Victoria is expected to have an easing of restrictio­ns.”

Byrne said at this stage the season looked almost certain to be starting later than usual.

“The meeting only went for half an hour. No-one had too much to say,” he said.

“From an Elmore perspectiv­e our club had spoken about it and was happy to try and start it at a normal time.

“Rochester threw out the idea of not starting the season until after Christmas, but we resolved to talk about it more later in the month.”

Byrne, a six-time Elmore Tennis Club singles champion, said he expected the associatio­n to have six clubs — the new Echuca Tennis Club, Rich River, Rochester, Elmore, Lockington­Bamawm United and Colbinabbi­n.

The competitio­n’s senior format will continue to have the top two ranked male players involved in a singles, doubles and mixed sets, while the three and four seeded men play two doubles and a mixed set.

The four female seeds will contest two women’s doubles and one mixed.

The Section A junior format will continue to feature singles play, while Section B and C will be completely doubles sets for all four players, with no male or female orientatio­n to the make-up of those doubles combinatio­ns

Another idea put forward during the pre-season has been the possibilit­y of a tennis “hub” to allow players to navigate various border restrictio­ns.

Andrew Crossman, Rich River’s most decorated player, said the potential of a “hub style” situation for tennis was not entirely out of the question.

“It’s amazing the extremes people will go to in order to play sport. We are seeing that at several different levels,” Crossman said.

“If we have to start a bit later, so be it. And if we have to base ourselves somewhere on this side of the border, then that’s what will happen.”

● In Goulburn Murray Lawn Tennis Associatio­n, the competitio­n’s annual general meeting will be held on September 18 via Zoom.

The teams deadline for this season is October 2, with an executive meeting to follow on October 3 to finalise teams and grades.

At this stage the season is slated to hit off on October

16.

 ??  ?? Merging: Interim Echuca Lawn Tennis Club president Nick Bush is helping to oversee a merger between his club and Echuca South.
Merging: Interim Echuca Lawn Tennis Club president Nick Bush is helping to oversee a merger between his club and Echuca South.
 ??  ?? All options on the table: Andrew Crossman has floated the idea of a tennis ‘‘hub’’ of sorts this season.
All options on the table: Andrew Crossman has floated the idea of a tennis ‘‘hub’’ of sorts this season.

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