The sun was out as and the courts were packed during a Family Day in October to celebrate the recent connection between The Phoenix Centre, an arm of the Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania and Glenorchy City Tennis Club.
35 Phoenix Centre clients participated in the afternoon, which included a range of on-court activities and a barbeque.
The event was delivered following a number of engaging group sessions at the club throughout August and September, which served as an introduction to tennis for many.
Phoenix Centre Project Officer Esta Birdahic said that collaborating with Tennis Tasmania has been a fantastic way to promote the benefits of physical activity to clients.
“It has been wonderful to hear lots of laughter and see people moving and thoroughly enjoying trying a brand-new activity,” she said.
“None of the participants had played tennis before.”
The Phoenix Centre provides mental health and wellbeing support to culturally and linguistically diverse individuals and communities.
Among the suite of programs it delivers are weekly men’s and women’s groups, where participants undertake a range of activities to build skills that support positive mental health.
Tennis Tasmania Regional Manager (South) Michael Bulis said that it has been great to see Glenorchy Tennis Club and the Phoenix Centre working together to help provide members of the local community access to the sport and club facilities,
“Tennis truly is a sport for people of all ages and backgrounds; the response and energy of everyone on the courts today speaks for itself,” he said.
“The team at Tennis Tasmania have had a ball and we are proud to be involved in such an amazing initiative,” he said.
There has been lots of positive feedback from clients, with many keen to continue playing.
“I have never sweated before, but I sweated today,” one Phoenix Centre client said.
“It is very healthy and very good.”
“I have never played tennis before and I want to keep playing.’
“It has been really nice to get out and meet with other people.”
Due to the enthusiasm and interest expressed by participants, the Glenorchy City Tennis Club and Migrant Resource Centre Tasmania are currently looking at ways to support clients to continue accessing the club independently of the group.
“It was great to see such a strong number of people enjoying themselves on the courts today,” said Club President John Fletcher.
“We are looking forward to seeing our relationship grow with the Phoenix Centre clients and we believe they will be a great asset to our club community.”