Cel­e­brat­ing 50 years

Gorey Guardian - - NEWS -

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

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