AYC Pennant

History of AYC

AYC stands for Associated Youth Clubs

Robin Hood has provided us with some history of AYC.

The Commonwealth Government in about 1930 established the National Fitness Council in all states and territories to provide programmes to help the general population to achieve better health and healthier lifestyles.  The Councils were significantly underfunded both from a monetary sense as well as for staff numbers.  This was no more evident than in Tasmania.

The recreation officers here in Southern Tasmania in particular did a good job under the circumstances and initiated some very good programmes.  Three of these remain today, albeit in a slightly changed format.

The first was the building of multi-purpose community halls – there are three:  one at Gormanston Road and two at Rose Bay.  The second was the development of camping facilities at Esperance and at Rheban on the East Coast.  These camps were very popular with families and school groups and were staffed with National Fitness officers and specialist instructors – two of whom were world renowned environmental adventurers and photographers – Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovski.

The third programme was to develop second tier competitions for community teams in a number of sports.  These were called second tier because they did not wish to compete for players against the well-established bigger bodies such as the TFL etc. but there was a need to get more people playing organised competitive sport.  They called them the Associated Youth Clubs competitions.

Some of the sports were AYC football, AYC basketball, AYC table tennis, AYC squash, AYC badminton, AYC tennis, AYC netball.  Some still remain today – eg. AYC Tennis.

In 1975, the Bill Nielsen Labor government seconded four senior physical education teachers to establish the Department of Sport and Recreation.  This was done with the blessing of the Commonwealth Government and the very much underfunded National Fitness Council.  The Department took over the personnel, properties and programmes of the NFC and absorbed them in to our policy development programme.  Many of the AYC competitions continued under our programmes because they were so successful. 

Robin Hood, the writer of the history above, was the Department’s Senior Sports Development Officer from 1975 until he retired in 1990 and these programmes were part of his area of concern.

The following is a bit of history of the AYC recalled by Ean Cannell.

A body known as the National Fitness Council (NFC) which included some public servants headed by Ken Thomas created the organisation known as AYC (Associated Youth Clubs) created for the purpose of providing recreation opportunities for those persons not being members of existing clubs.

Such AYC clubs were badminton, tennis, netball, basketball, football, table tennis.  The NFC oversaw and guided their formation assisted at meetings and initially hired courts when required for competition.
AYC tennis in early days consisted of 1 division limited to non A grade players and players not competing in STTA competition.  Teams were generally made up of persons from social or workplace interest.  As an example:
• Young liberals
• Wellington
• Air Force
• Nettlefolds
• Insurance
• Lindisfarne
• Alexander

A team initially consisted of 8 players (4 men, 4 women) a match being 8 sets (4 mixed, 2 mens, 2 ladies) later modified to be its current form of 9 sets for 6 players, as 2 sets for each player per match was considered insufficient.
Later modifications to allow a united number of A grade players and other tennis club members was included plus a system of points value for players and teams was introduced to maintain competitive balance.

The name AYC has lost its relevance but the NFSRA affiliated sports could not agree to change so it has remained for well over 50 years with its meaning disappearing.  Very few people now question it or appear concerned.

As time passed, AYC tennis has grown sufficient experience to operate independently of the NFSRA.  Although if it desires it can provide a representative to that body.

It is interesting to note that all AYC tennis teams are now from tennis clubs from which they weren’t originally to be and the original format no longer exists.

Thanks go to Robin Hood and Ean Cannell for providing this history for us.