A word from President Ralph, on the year that was....
Our AGM approaches and so it’s time to reflect on 2020/21. It’s been a year of change. Most of us are happy with change if we instigate it. Few of us enjoy change that is imposed upon us. The challenge is to keep looking for the opportunities. While there hasn’t been a lot of activity on the court, there’s been a lot off it. I’m sure Deb has long lost count of the number of signs, notifications, EDM’s and the like about Covid restrictions. When you come back into the grounds, you will see all the work that Robin, Lindsay and their helpers have put into the gardens and surrounds. Andrew, Rohan, myself and three fit and healthy young players helped to clear drains and prune trees, ready for the shade cover at Court 9. Thanks to Tom L, Lachie & Jack A. Like all businesses, we have been at the mercy of the rules and regulations around opening and closing. In the end, the decisions
are made by Stonnington Council. They are the owners of the Tennis Club, and we thank them for their support during these difficult times.
Last year I reported that we were well underway to have a new Clubhouse. We then discovered that a newly elected group of Councillors had different thoughts around funding. I want to thank all the members who made submissions to Council to have the budget moved back into this year. I’m also very proud of the Committees’ efforts to present to Council. We are now on track to build a new Clubhouse and have works done on courts 7 to 10. This should include all weather surfaces. This should go a long way to address the ageing fences around our courts and hopefully give us a state-of-the-art Clubhouse. We continue to work towards keeping the pool in this redevelopment. This does come with quite a few challenges, but we believe it’s an asset worth keeping.
The big question currently is, when will we be out of lockdown. My assumption is that it will coincide with the population being vaccinated to an appropriate level. I don’t know whether we will need to a vaccine passport to play sport. I’m sure Tennis Victoria will let us know.
I want to thank Tony Lane for his continued efforts looking after our Juniors, along with Tom Lidgerwood on Sunday mornings. These children and their families are the future of our Club. Most of our children and families originate from lessons with Futures Tennis Academy. We are pleased to continue our 30+ year relationship. We are particularly pleased to see Wes back on court (when open), and in good health.
The mainstay of EMTC is of course, our Secretary/Administration Manager and default boss. As many of you are aware, Deb is going to take a very well-earned retirement. Don’t worry, she’s still our Secretary, and doing a brilliant job handing over to Lita. Please come in and welcome Lita when restrictions allow. Deb has worked tirelessly through these difficult times, often not charging for her time, to ensure the club finances are kept in check. We owe a great debt to her, and I look forward to recognising her more formally down the track.
Andrew McVean, continues to keep the books balanced. This is a pretty good effort in such challenging times. While the revenue isn’t coming in, to the same degree, the expenses are. We continue to enjoy the sponsorship of The East Malvern Community Branch of Bendigo Bank. Manager Ruth Hall and her team are local to the Club, and sponsor many of the areas local sporting Clubs. Please ensure you mention us if you choose to do business with them.
I also want to thank the rest of the Committee for their unselfish commitment and efforts. Chris Woods has taken over the mantle of Senior (Sat afternoon) Co-ordinator and is keen to build on the work done by Rohan, and especially continue to encourage our female and young adult players to participate. Rohan Appleton is now concentrating on the Maintenance and Clubhouse redevelopment and is currently overseeing the Shade installation. Glenn Mescher continues to provide excellent business acumen. Sarah Bullen has a wealth of experience in the compliance area and is involved in our Policies/By-laws etc. Our latest addition, Danielle Whibley comes with 20+ years in the Management/HR/Governance arena and is keen to get involved in many areas, including our Strategic Plan update.
I continue to volunteer with Tennis Victoria Nominations Committee, helping choose future Board Members. This has given me insight, and access to the broader Tennis Community. I want to send a shout out to our local Member Michael O’Brien for his advice and support for EMTC. I would also like to thank Stonnington Council for continuing to work so positively with us.
We also want to thank all of you, our members, for your patience. I know how keen everyone is to get back to playing. As a Family Club, we will continue to make decisions that support the health and safety of all our members.
East Malvern Tennis Club