Tag Archives: warrandyte tennis club

Final rally for Bridge Tennis Courts

AFTER MORE THAN 110 years, the life of the tennis courts with one of the best views in Melbourne is officially over.

The courts were established in 1907 and had been used to varying degrees until they were seconded by VicRoads as a worksite during the recent bridge redevelopment.

Rallies by the River, a book produced by Judy Green and Keith Wilson in 2007 to celebrate the centenary of  Warrandyte Tennis Club, notes that: “In September 1907 ‘with valuable assistance from the Progressive Association’ the land was gazetted by the Government to be used for ‘public purposes’”.

The courts were built by volunteers and opened in May 1908, “to celebrate the occasion ‘a large number of members assembled and some very enjoyable games were played’”.

The years that followed saw regular inter-club tournaments with neighbouring townships.

However, devastating fire and floods wrought havoc on the riverside courts, with the floods of 1934 washing the courts away, and the 1939 bushfires melting the asphalt surface.

These were replaced by concrete courts, but construction was interrupted by WWII, with the courts at Mr Ted Hemsworth’s Yarra Street home being used in the interim.

The Warrandyte Tennis Club continued to grow over the following decades, but with threats of road widening and the position’s geographical constraints, the club moved to Taroona Avenue in 1974.

The courts were unused for some time after Warrandyte Tennis Club had established itself at Taroona Avenue.

Enter the Warrandyte Lions Club who has now been managing the tennis courts by the bridge for more than 40 years.

Ron Cuthbert was a member in 1978 and recalls when the Lions decided to bring the courts back to life after the courts were damaged.

“There was a truck that came down and took out the whole fence.

“We had the idea to restore the courts, but we couldn’t find out who had control of the courts, it was the local MP who came to sort all that out,” Ron said.

It turned out the land belonged to the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works, and once the Lions had established the ownership, they were able to undertake works to upgrade the area.

Long-time member, Denis Robertshaw said when the club took the courts over it was just asphalt.

“The Lions volunteers did all the work fixing it up, weekend after weekend, and then put the en tout cas [red clay] down.

Ron adds “Johnny Gilbert did the maintenance”.

Denis elaborates: “He was a stalwart gentleman, he was in his 80s, he used to come down here, and if he was going past and a branch had come down overnight, he’d be down here the next day.

“He was so diligent, even when it was not his allotted day, he would come down and have this place really clean and tidy and have it ready for anybody that was going to come and have a hit.

“First thing in the morning at 7am, he would be down here,” Denis recalled.

Ron said the club rooms were originally a small timber shack, but local bricklayer Eddie Ohlman constructed the brick clubhouse that stands to this day.

Current Lions President David Englefield recalls the honour system used when they rented the courts out to the public.

“We used to charge $10 per hour for a court.

“It was good fun, the lolly shop had the key, people would pay their $10 and collect the key and return it when they were finished,” said David.

At various times the keys were held by Riverview Café, Scandles, Landfield Real Estate and the Lolly Shop.

But it was not just social hit-ups that the courts were used for, at times Warrandyte Tennis Club and Kangaroo Ground Tennis Club would use the courts for competition when they needed extra courts.

Current Lions Club Secretary Lyn McDonald remembers using the courts in her youth.

“I played here when I was playing with Kangaroo Ground, we had to use it when there were not enough courts up there,” she said.

Former member Colin Davis told the Diary that Lions used to run a program for people with special needs.

“We called the program Everyone for Tennis, it started in 2007 and ran for four years.

“We had professional coaches and it was a good atmosphere, sometimes we would get 30 players,” he said.

However, Denis said the use of the courts had been in decline over the last few years.

“It was costing us a lot in maintenance each year to keep it up-to-date, and when you do not have the use, it is very disappointing.

“Then VicRoads announced they were going to remodel the bridge, they wanted to have it for extra space, so they commandeered the land,” Denis said.

David added “it was very disappointing when we lost it all, we put a lot of work into it to keep it up and going, and a lot of people wanted to keep it going, but the Council said, ‘it’s not your property, it is our property’.

“For the last three or four years it has just gone to wrack and ruin, VicRoads used it as a depot, parking the trucks and using it for their sheds.

“We are very sorry to see it go,” said David.

Current and former members gathered at the courts in late May to farewell the old courts.

Denis told the Diary they are donating $45,000 to purchase fitness stations to be installed in the new Lions Park and are pleased to continue to help people enjoy the area by the river.

“It is the Lions’ swan-song as tenancy of the tennis court area, but we are more than happy that the electric BBQ we built is going to continue on, so visitors to the area can still enjoy their snags and have a picnic… it’s going to turn out to be something usable — and nice,” Denis said.

The courts and clubhouse will now be demolished, and the land incorporated into Lions Park (see story below).

Rallies by the River by Judy Green and Keith Wilson is available from the Warrandyte Historical Society.

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Lions Park construction gets under way

By DAVID HOGG

THE CONTROVERSIAL Lions Park project might finally get underway this month to create a new dynamic park area running from the Federation Playspace to underneath the bridge on the south side of the river.

The Manningham Council meeting on May 26 approved a draft budget which included $600,000 for this project, and concluded in closed session to discuss and approve the tender responses for the works.

Angelo Kourambas, Director City Planning and Community, Manningham Council, told the Diary “Works on the first stage of the Lions Park upgrade at the Warrandyte River Reserve are anticipated to start in June and be completed by the end of November 2020.

“The upgrade will include new fitness equipment, which will be funded by the Lions Club of Warrandyte.

“A full list of works can be found in the document library at yoursaymanningham.com.au/lions-park

“Stage two works are planned for the financial year 2021/22.

“This will include a new playspace, picnic area, art project, and additional indigenous planting,” Mr Kourambas said.

There is slight confusion as to which of the works are included in Stage 1 this year, and Stage 2 in the 2021/22 financial year, particularly as the signs on display at the site are a later edition than the original master plan on the referenced website, but it looks safe to assume that Stage 1 consists of everything on the site plan apart from the four items listed above, and an extension to the existing Fire Garden.

We understand from the Lions Club that they have set aside $45,000 for provision of fixed-apparatus fitness equipment, which they had hoped would be out in the open but council has decided to locate under the bridge.

Progress on these works has been slow and controversial.

The original master plan was approved by council in September 2018 and we were assured at the time that work would be started shortly after completion of the bridgeworks in early 2019.

In May 2019 the Diary announced that council had allocated a total of $450,000 to the project in the financial years to June 2020, and that work would start shortly.

In fact, no work has been done since VicRoads vacated the site of the old tennis courts which they used as a depot for the bridge reconstruction, and it has been fenced off and abandoned.

Lions Club member Denis Robertshaw is concerned about the future of the 4-burner BBQ which is in good condition.

He tells us “This BBQ was a bicentennial project funded by Lions Club and all the bricks in the surrounds have people’s names on them; people in the community that we approached to donate money.

“I believe Council is going to retain the bricks even though they are going to repurpose them but it is a shame that they will be throwing out a perfectly good 4-burner BBQ and replacing it with a new 2-burner one; a waste of Lions Club donators’ and ratepayers’ money.

“Council tell us that the reason for this is that the area has to be made wheelchair accessible; we thought it already is!”

Lions Club Secretary Lyn McDonald tells the Diary “It is still to be called Lions Park, that’s what we have been told, emphasis that the Lions have had this space for so long, and it would be terrible to lose that history.”

The Diary is seeking clarification from Council on the funding for this project.

We know that $450,000 was allocated to the project in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 budgets although no work had started in these years.

We know that $600,000 has been included in the draft budget for 2020/21 but do not know whether this includes the $450,000 previously committed or whether it includes the Stage 2 works to be commenced in 2021/22.

We know that council debated the awarding of the contract for the works in a closed session in their May meeting but do not know who the contract was awarded to, the value of the contract, or whether this was for the whole project or just for Stage 1.

These are questions we have asked of Council, but they had not responded as we go to press, so we will seek to clarify next month.

Rather like the bridge widening project, we are sure it will be excellent when eventually completed, but final completion date and costs may differ from what was originally outlined.

Manningham’s short video walkthrough showing how the final implementation will look is very impressive and can be found at tinyurl.com/wlpk9

 

Oh what a feeling… triple tennis triumph

JDC1 Saturday 7/9/19

HAVING EMPHATICALLY won their home semi-final against Ferntree Gully two sets to love (with the third drawn) the weekend before, it was time for Warrandyte’s Sunday JDC1 team to travel to HE Parker Reserve in Heathmont for the Grand Final.
HE Parker Reserve’s Blue team had led the section all season and had accounted for Warrandyte in both of the home and away encounters but as this match was to play out, finals momentum is far more important than history.
The first set was drawn, but when Warrandyte took the ascendancy in the second set there was no stopping them, running out winners with  the final two sets 5-3 6-2.
Well done Warrandyte!

JOSD2 Tuesday 10/9/19

Rain interrupted the Grand Final of the JOSD2 Winter competition between Warrandyte and Emerald.
The teams agreed to hold the rescheduled match on the following Tuesday evening.
Warrandyte made the trek up the mountain for a second time to visit Emerald to complete the match tentatively kicked off in the drizzle of Saturday morning.
The home team finished top of the ladder, having not faced Warrandyte all season, as Warrandyte were promoted to the higher grade after three unequivocal walkovers at the start of the season in JOSD3.
The match was Warrandyte’s from the off, as the first set of doubles between the 1 and 2 players went Warrandyte’s way 6-0.
The second set, between Number 3 and 4 players, saw Emerald take a point with a close fought 6-4 to the home team.
The singles all went Warrandyte’s way.
The team’s number one player, Matthew Quick, having not dropped a singles’ set all season, continued his domination of the court, while Kylani Czarnecki, Sophie Gurney and Erika Hamilton all bested their opponents.
To Emerald’s credit, the game scores belied some very tight matches, with several games sitting on Deuce/ Advantage for up to 10 rallies.
The final doubles pairings saw the team’s fifth player, Owen Kelly, swapped into the Number 4 position. The concluding doubles matches, with changed up pairs, saw Matthew and Kylani make short work of Emerald’s Number 1 and 3 players, while Erica and Owen dropped their set.
But it was academic by that stage with Warrandyte taking the flag 6 sets to 2, with an emphatic game score of 40-28.

JDC3 Saturday 14/9/19

Despite being top of the Junior Development Competition section 3 throughout the season, Warrandyte were pushed all the way by second placed Wantirna Blue in their rain delayed home final and it ultimately came down to a 5 game set tie breaker to take the flag.
Winning the first set 5-3 the second set was drawn (4-4) and despite some nervous moments, Warrandyte managed to win the 3 games necessary in the third set (3-5) to force the match to a tie breaker.
The atmosphere on the clubhouse balcony was so tense that some parents simply could not watch!
On winning the tie breaker 4 games to 1, Junior Convenor Tony Honeyborne had nothing but praise for both teams.
“The spirit with which the whole match was played was a credit to these young players at the start of their tennis careers and every year the standard just seems to get higher with protracted rallies and some well executed placement.
“It was tough handing the runners up medals to the Wantirna players things were so even, and the match, as you often see in tennis at the highest level, ultimately came down to a couple of points at crucial moments.

Making a splash to fight MND

THE BIG FREEZE swept over Warrandyte as the Tennis and Junior Football organisations helped raise awareness and funds for Motor Neurone Disease.
An intuitive initiative by the tennis club allowed them to run their own ice bucket challenge at the tennis courts.
The installation of their new irrigation system forced the club to load up buckets of water for general use around their rooms and courts and inspired by a “waste not want not” mentality, the club announced that they would be holding their own Big Freeze event with their excess water.
Warrandyte Community Bank representatives Adrian Yong and Dee Dickson were in attendance and with the help of junior players Hamish Pattenden, Oliver Liu, Callum Aldenhoven and Harvey Arifovic, were granted the pleasure of tipping the buckets of ice-cold water over the brave participants.
The dunkees in question were none other than Craig Haslam, Ariel Paterson, Wayne Bradford and Maree Neil who were suitably soaked in the name of a good cause.
The outstanding effort by the club raised $210, making their mark for an important cause.
Over at Warrandyte Reserve, the Junior Football club’s round eight home game were a “true blue success” as the club also joined in to #FightMND.
The Under 15 side donned the classic blue MND socks in their game while the club put up a host of MND merchandise for sale to raise funds with as many as 100 beanies snapped up by supporters.
It was a fantastic show of support for MND Round by Warrandyte’s sporting organisations in a strong community display that all involved with should be proud of.

New kids’ courts for South Warrandyte

WORLD NUMBER One wheelchair tennis player, Dylan Alcott had a hit-up with the kids’ at the South Warrandyte Tennis courts in February.

He was there to present a cheque from the ANZ Bank to the Warrandyte Tennis Club to enable them to install five purpose-built kids courts.

The South Warrandyte annex of the Warrandyte Tennis Club will convert two of their full-size tennis courts into two “Red Ball” courts, which are 1/4-size courts, and three 3/4-size “Orange Ball” courts.

The ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program allows kids to gain tennis skills and technique on smaller courts before having to develop the power to hit on the full size courts.

The low compression balls make the game fun and accessible for kids as young as three.

Warrandyte Tennis Club head coach Craig Haslam says they applied for the grant because the facility has been under-utilised, but with the renovation they will be able to participate in junior inter-club competitions.

“I am hoping that a lot of kids from all around the area will be able to play their matches here — tournaments too,” Craig said.

While this does remove two of the full-size courts from the Club’s fixture, there will still be eight adults’ courts available across the club’s two sites.

Dylan Alcott told the Diary he was “super-pumped” to come out to Warrandyte because he said it is important to support the next generation of young tennis players.

“You might not win the Australian Open, but tennis is such a great sport — it keeps you fit, and puts a smile on your face,” he said.

Along with the cheque, the club received merchandise, equipment, signage and access to a local ANZ specialist.

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said: “We are grateful for ANZ’s ongoing support of tennis and the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program, and their commitment to growing the game from the grassroots level up.

“We’re excited for South Warrandyte Tennis Club and we know they will make the most of this wonderful opportunity.”

The grant will be supplemented by additional funding from Manningham Council.

ANZ Tennis Hot Shots is Tennis Australia’s official development program with a record 543,850 children between three and 12 years of age playing ANZ Tennis Hot Shots in 2017/18.

ANZ Tennis Hot Shots use smaller courts, lighter racquets, lower nets and low compression balls making it suitable for children of all abilities.

Warrandyte ace their way to two premierships

THE WARRANDYTE Tennis Club get to hang two new premiership flags from their rafters after their open Section Five and Section Six teams won their grand finals last Friday night.

The Section Five side defeated Yan Yean Red 42 games to 22 and the Section Six team defeated Wattle Glen 35 games to 28, to win their respective finals in the Diamond Valley Tennis Association’s autumn season.

Both teams were forced to work hard early, they were neck-and-neck with their opponents when rain forced play to stop midway through the matchups.

The break turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Warrandyte, once play resumed both their teams came out firing and stormed home to victory.

Alistair Tudor, one of Warrandyte’s coaches and the Friday night Junior Convenor said it was great to see the dedication and hard work the players put in throughout the season pay off.

“[I’m] happy for both teams, given that both teams missed out on making their finals last season, it gives them great reward to be able to win both their finals this season.

“For Section Six who were on top of the ladder for the majority of the season it was great to close the season the same way whilst Section Five finishing third on the ladder and managed to knock off the second place team in the semis to progress to the grand final and take the flag,” he said.

Warrandyte’s Section Two and Section Three teams also qualified for the finals this season but were eliminated in the semis after losing to Plenty and Norris Bank respectively.

Even though not all of the teams finished the season as premiers, Coach Tudor believes it is still a huge positive for the club to have all four of their sides makes the finals.

“I think it’s great for tennis in Warrandyte,” he said.

He went on to reflect on the boost to the club’s reputation a result like this has.

“Anytime the club can have success it does great boosting the profile of the club within Warrandyte as well as the surrounding areas,” he said.

He also wanted to thank some special people who played an important role in the teams’ and club’s success. “In reality I couldn’t do my role without the support of the parents.

They are the vital part that makes sure players get to matches and [they] greatly assist me in making sure the competition runs smoothly,” he said.

The teams won’t have to wait long to take back to the court with the next season kicking off on July 21.

Congratulations to Section Six players: Callum Bowers, Hamish McLellan, Nick Davenport, Owen Kelly and Mitch Miskowiec-Robb and to Section Five players: Nicholas Tso, Matthew Quick, Daniel Mizzi(on the ground), Raymond Chen and Chris Milburn-Clark (not pictured) on a great season.

 

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Tennis hot shots at Rod Laver Arena

Four groups of young tennis players from the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program took over both Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena last Thursday as Tennis Australia renamed Australia Day the “Tennis Guru Day”.

Forty players aged seven to nine from Warrandyte Tennis Club, Warrandyte Primary School and Milgate Primary School participated in the Tennis Guru Hot Shots program on centre court.

The demonstrations highlighted some of the activities the young tennis players learn in the Hot Shots coaching program.

For half an hour the kids, aged between seven and nine years, demonstrated their skills to the crowd.

They were then followed by the professionals in their Australian Open matches.

While the kids strutted their stuff, coach Craig Haslam was interviewed by Tennis Australia for big screen crosses at the change of ends.

“These kids ran onto a huge stadium and played the game of tennis completely independent of adult support for 30 minutes.

The demonstration was not rehearsed, it was just kids having the time of their life playing tennis. I was so proud of them,” said Mr Haslam.

He must have heard the words “they are so cute” at least a hundred times that morning.

The Hot Shots tennis program demonstrations are a regular feature of the Australian Open and other demonstrations took part on the other major courts throughout the Grand Slam.