Tathra Beach Tennis Club

Tennis Club History

Tathra Tennis Club began with three clay tennis courts between the Tathra Beach Bowling Clubs bowling greens and the Andy Poole roadway. Matches were also played elsewhere in church yards, Tathra Primary School, in private backyards and farms.

1933 – Lot Stafford, Kalaru made a tennis court at 560 Tathra Road, Kalaru (near Staffords Hardware) which was used by family and neighbours for social tennis. Years later that court was used by ladies weekly social matches. Tathra Beach Tennis Club also used the court when they needed extra courts for their weekly Saturday competitions and the Tathra Beach October Tournament.

1953 – Aub and Beth Smith and their seven children (click on photo below to see names) were all tennis players and they moved to Tathra and joined the Tathra Beach Tennis Club. Back then, players were always dressed in white and used wooden framed tennis racquets. Tathra team with Maureen Smith, recorded wins in Far South Coast Tennis Association in 1956 and again in 1959. Winners received FSC struck teaspoons. Aub and Maureen are life member of our Club. Maureen first played local competition in 1947 at the age of 20 and in October 2006 completed 60 years of continuous play. Maureen was on the Tennis Committee that oversaw the transfer of the Club from the town courts to the Tathra Beach Country Club and the subsequent change to synethetic courts.

1958 – Robin Gauld was Secretary of the Far South Coast Tennis Association, after taking over from Lindsay Newton. Robin ran three successful Easter Tournaments in Bega.

1961 – Tathra tennis players, Stan Curtis, John Linklatter, Robin Gauld and Jim McDonald, won the first Far South Coast Teams Tennis Championship. Tennis through the sixties consisted of mixed competition on Saturdays, with teams from Tathra, Bega and Merimbula, along with Wolumla, Candelo and Cobargo in the lower grades.

1964 – Our first Open Tournament was held over October Labour Day weekend. Great success due to the Committee of Liz Glover, President, Vern McNeil, Tournament Director, along with Aub Smith, Manning Lemon, Maureen Smith, Doreen Newton and Monica Davidson.

1976 – Tathra Beach Country Club was established with an 18 hole Golf Course, created by Kel Nagle and local golf players.

1978 – Tathra tennis continued to use the Bowling Club tennis courts along with the two clay tennis courts at the Tathra Beach Country Club between the golf course and the soccer field.

1980 – Further four clay tennis courts were created at the Tathra Beach Country Club between the 18 hole golf course and the soccer field.

Liz Glover, Peter Robinson and others have volunteered many hours to maintain these clay courts in top condition.

2001 – Tennis Club President, Dr Tony Brown, was the main driver to get the all weather courts.  With the assistance of the Country Club they were installed 2 at a time from September 2001 to April 2003.  Whenever Tony raised the topic of getting the all-weather courts and the tennis club looked at our finances, we thought it would never be possible.  But due to his persistence and  dogged negotiating skills with the installation company and the use of sand from the back of the Country Club (rather than from Newcastle) and working bees to spread the sand, we at last got 2 courts installed.  Once the first 2 courts went down, ball fees went up, court hire increased and the maintenance costs reduced.  Eventually four courts were covered with synthetic grass and the remaining two courts were covered in 2004. These courts are now floodlit and a stones throw from the beach.

The running of the October Tournament was greatly facilitated as it wasn’t necessary to have a team of volunteers to bag, water and line the courts over the 3 days of the long weekend. Due to the installation of the all weather courts, the finances of the tennis club improved significantly as did the Country Club’s finances.  

While Tony Brown was President the town courts near the Bowling Club were closed and there was a particularly enjoyable working bee there when the Tennis Club players  pulled down wire fences so that the area was incorporated within the Bowling Club.  New fences were also installed in stages at the Tathra Beach Country Club tennis courts.  As well, we landscaped the area between the tennis clubhouse and the country club with pavers and a tropical garden.

 Club Presidents – Liz Glover – 1964 to ??????,…………………Peter Otton 19…to 19……………………… Dr Tony Brown – ???? to 2004; Peter Robinson – 2005 to present date

Life Members – Aub Smith, Liz Glover, Monica Davidson, Vince Doyle, Bill Johnson and Maureen Smith