Shepparton News

Set for a ball at Swan Hill


- By Zac Standish

Goulburn Valley players will be among hundreds of tennis enthusiast­s to descend on Swan Hill in January for the annual Australian Seniors Tennis Championsh­ip.

Spread across two weeks from January 9 to 21, the will event feature two distinct competitio­ns.

Beginning with Teams Week, the format consists of teams of four players competing in up to two time slots a day (either 8 am and 1.20 pm or 10.40 am and 4 pm), there are men’s and women’s divisions which are defined in five-year or 10-year increments.

Following on from this, Individual­s Week will take centre stage from January 16 and will have competitor­s play for themselves in singles, women’s and men’s doubles and mixed doubles in increments of five years a division.

An event that is set to bring players from across the country to Swan Hill, the tournament is all about getting people back into tennis again following what has been an extremely difficult 18 months due to COVID-19 restrictio­ns.

Teams tournament manager and Euroa native Mark Borthwick explained how much work went into organising the event.

“It is a huge event, we have got five of us on the organising committee and then another 25-30 volunteers and we have to make sure everything is up and going and running smoothly,” Borthwick said.

“The worst case scenario with COVID is having different exits and entrances and spreading people out throughout the day, so working out all those protocols does take a lot of time.

“Then we have all the social activities as well because we have got sponsors such as the City of Swan Hill and they want us to utilise all the tourist attraction­s up there, so we have got to have a whole heap of contingenc­y plans to make sure everything runs smoothly.”

Having hosted the championsh­ips in 2016 and 2019, there is a strong connection between this event and the Goulburn Valley.

Borthwick expects a number of keen locals to make the trip to Swan Hill in January and be key competitor­s for the Victorian team.

“There are quite a few people from the Goulburn Valley that like to get involved — I am one of them,” he said.

“Just off the top of my head I would say there around 10 who will definitely come down, seniors tennis is incredibly popular around Shepparton and our locals always give a good account of themselves at events such as this.”

For people keen to get involved with seniors tennis, he had this message.

“People who are interested and keen to sign up can get on the website https:/ /www.tennisseni­ or contact any of the local tennis clubs and they will point you in the right direction.”

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