A word from President Ralph, on the year that was....
What a year we’ve had. Every aspect of our lives has been affected. Sport in general, and Tennis in particular. Courts closing, opening, and closing again. The amount of time and effort we, as a Committee, have spent trying to manage the changing rules and regulations, is unprecedented. I want to thank all of our members for their understanding during this challenging period. Almost everybody jumped on board with the new systems and restrictions. Some positives to come out of the situation include the introduction of a court booking system. Chris Wood’s team kicked this off for the first month and then I took it on. It has given me a chance to spend time connecting with some members I don’t necessarily catch up with. Robin and Lindsay have been beautifying the area around Courts 7 to 10. We have some plans for two shaded areas that involve a Grant we hope to receive from the State
Government. Sarah and Tony are heading up this initiative and like all Government submissions, there is a lot of time and effort required.
This current Committee has been working on many projects over the last seven years. The biggest one has been the upgrade of the clubhouse. This has required a lot of effort from all of us, including past Committee members. It has been an exercise in diplomacy and raising awareness of the Club to the decision makers and influencers. If anyone is still wondering what’s wrong with the existing club house, feel free to chat with Deb. It would be quicker to ask what’s right with it. We are all extremely pleased to announce that there is now money in the Stonington budget, to upgrade our Club house and Courts. We expect planning to start this financial year. We are extremely thankful to the council for prioritising our project.
When Stage 4 restrictions have been lifted, we would hope to be able to resume singles play. Personally, I would love to see Doubles return. If all goes well with Covid numbers, this might happen before Christmas. It would seem that Competition Tennis is keen to recommence this year. Deb will be sending out the relevant information in the next weeks. This will see the Competition team of Rohan Appleton, Peter Car and Alan Young kick into gear. Deb will also send out information regarding fees for next year. This was something the committee discussed at length. While the cost of running the Club hasn’t diminished significantly, we appreciate the challenges facing many people currently.
We trialled an activity on a Friday nights, a Social event aimed at bringing new members to the Club. Thanks to Sarah Bullen, Fotis Kantanis and Jake Zerman (Coach and EMTC member) for their time and enthusiasm. Thanks to Tennis Australia for the free equipment. We would like to start that up again, when we are allowed. I should also acknowledge Jake’s painting skills during lockdown. The inside of the Club house is all the better for them.
I want to thank Tony Lane again, for his tireless efforts looking after our Juniors. These children and their families are the future of our Club. The other major element of our future are the children and families that come to us, from Futures Tennis Academy. Wes and his team have been our partners for over 30 years. Wes has been going through some challenges lately and I have enclosed some words from him. (see below)
The mainstay of EMTC is our Secretary/Administration Manager and default boss. We are beyond lucky to have her. Deb has continued to do a brilliant job in very challenging circumstances. She has worked crazy hours at times this year but won’t accept payment for much of it. The Club owes her a significant debt.
Part of the work is with Andrew McVean, managing the Finances. As a Committee we are proud of the fact that we have kept the books balanced. We have a new sponsor in 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. We will send more information about getting on board, should you wish to. In the meantime, talk to Deb, or anyone else on the Committee, to ensure the Club gets the acknowledgement.
I also want to thank the rest of the Committee for their efforts. Glenn Mescher, Chris Woods and Parag Manihar for their breadth of knowledge and wisdom. Also, their willingness to pitch in when needed. Rohan Appleton continues overseeing maintenance, with Robin Borchard, and advocating for the Club with Council and others.
I have continued my involvement with Tennis Victoria Nominations Committee, for future Board Members. This has given me insight, and access to the key players in Victorian Tennis. I should also acknowledge our local Member and Opposition Leader, Michael O’Brien for his advice and support with EMTC.
The one constant this year has been change. We recently discovered that the Council has a different address in their system for our club. This happened after the freeway was built and adjustments were made regarding the change in Moira Street. Even though it appears that we are on Dunlop Street, officially we are not. Going forward, our address will be 15 Moira Street Glen Iris 3146. We will make the change in Google Maps to try and help our visitors, and Deb has started the process of updating all paperwork/suppliers etc.
We continue to be a family-oriented club. This is our strength, and the source of the occasional challenge. I am very much looking forward to the next few years.
East Malvern Tennis Club