More than a club

Posted on 20 February 2019

Douglas Tennis Club. DOUGLAS Tennis Club might be small –but it is mighty.
Nanjing Night Net

Three years ago the club discovered its courts were in too poor condition to continue playing.

After being in sub-par condition for many years, the cracks and holes had become toodangerous for players to continue.

The Douglas farming community refused to give up the heart of the area, throwing itselfinto fundraising.

The club has been running for more than 115 years and has alwayshad a team.

Secretary Anne Penny said the community felt like the club was slipping away.“It was difficult to attract players to our local team when it didn’t feel likea local team,” she said.

“When your home games are in a different town it is hard.If itcontinued I think we would have lost our club.”

The club applied for government and Tennis Australia grants and was successful, gaining two grants to rebuild.

However, one grant was for $33,000 andthe club had to match it, and then some, in order to complete the works.

It was a long journeybut the club managed to pool together more than$80,000 with government grants, community fundraising and support from Douglasbusinesses.

Penny said it was a big job.

“We had to pull up the existing courts and put completely new ones in with new fencing as well,” she said.

“We started with a grain drive, approaching farmers to ask if they would donate a portion of their harvest sales to the club.

“We also asked businesses within and with links to the Douglas community for donations.People were alsovery generous.”

Penny said it was not just the money –several community members volunteered to cut down labouring costs.

The club will unveil all three tennis courts at agrand opening on November 4with a home game to follow on November 5.

“There is a lot of history there and connectionswith players now whose great-grandparents might have been involved,” Penny said. “Being the only sporting club in the area, the social aspect is important given how isolated we are.

“It’s a way for the community to gather together.We are proud of it, being such a small community.

“We have a lot of younger up-and-coming players. We now know this will be there for them.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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