24 May 2024 | Tennis Victoria

The 2024 Victorian Community Tennis Awards were presented last night celebrating the heroes of Victorian community tennis. Coinciding with National Volunteers Week, the event was staged to celebrate the achievements and contributions of members of the Victorian tennis community.

Tennis Victoria CEO Tamatha Harding was thrilled to recognise and celebrate the award winners and finalists in front of the Victorian tennis community.

“Congratulations to all the winners of the 2024 Victorian Community Tennis Awards. To be recognised amongst your peers is a credit to all who were nominated and the stories of community contribution will inspire many.

The Victorian tennis community is supported by outstanding volunteers, coaches, and many people wanting to make their communities better through tennis. Celebrating the achievements of our many award winners in National Volunteers Week was an honour for us at Tennis Victoria.”

The Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club was awarded the Most Outstanding Club or Centre, recognising the club’s significant development of facilities, enabling it to successfully host three community events during the summer, including the much-loved Warrnambool Open. The club has invested in its management model empowering over 30 volunteers to play a role in the operations of the Club. Club President Kim Tobin said, “It is fitting that we have been named the Most Outstanding Club or Centre tonight in National Volunteers Week because we are driven by our Outstanding Volunteers who do so much for the Club.”

Rye Tennis Club took home the trophy for the Most Outstanding Tournament for their 3K 45th Annual Australia Day Event. The event has grown to spread across neighbouring Tennis Clubs and has continued to engage with the local council, parliamentarians and the wider community.

The dynamic duo of Marlino Pasqual and Chanchai Sookton-Eng joined together to start BTS Coaching Academy were rewarded with the Coaching Excellence Club or Centre Award. In just their two years in business the BTS Coaching Academy has grown the coaching participants at Fawkner Tennis Club from zero to now over 130 participants who are highly engaged. When asked about highlights of their year, they attributed the success and enjoyment of their players during weekly coaching as well as their tournament tours they have delivered encouraging players to work together on and off the court, cooking meals, sharing tasks and supporting each other creating a strong team environment.

Bacchus Marsh Tennis Club’s delivery of A Gay Day on the Green was awarded the Most Outstanding Inclusion Initiative for providing a safe and welcoming tennis event for all residents of Bacchus Marsh, especially those of the LGBTQIA+ community.

In National Volunteers Week, the Volunteer Achievement award was shared between two outstanding volunteers this year, Craig Douglas from Scoresby Tennis Club and Louise Thornton from Yackandandah Tennis Club. Craig and Louise have empowered their tennis clubs to provide safe and inclusive playing environments for everyone.

As president of Scoresby Tennis Club for over 8 years, Craig’s unwavering commitment and leadership have driven financial and membership growth, shaping the club into a thriving and inclusive community for all. Louise has been an active member of Yackandandah Tennis Club for 8 years, her strong devotion to both her community and the club is apparent in her efforts to increase junior and female participation through Community Play Hot Shots and Cardio Tennis.

Heatherwood School received the Most Outstanding School award for its commendable efforts in integrating tennis into its Physical Education curriculum. The school has shown dedication to encouraging students with mild intellectual disabilities to participate in tennis by offering quality programmes for all abilities.

Elizabeth Ross continues to demonstrate outstanding effort and skills in her role as an official at the Australian Open, and commitment to coaching the next generation of Officials, earning her the Excellence in Officiating award.

To cap off the evening, Susie Norton won the prestigious Victorian Spirit of Tennis award for her lifelong contribution to the spirit of tennis including an incredible 30 years as CEO of the Kids Tennis Foundation, service on the Tennis Victoria Board and continued work currently with the Australian Tennis Foundation. Throughout her career, Susie established programmes that have helped over 400,000 socially disadvantaged children play tennis.

Tennis Victoria President Jacqueline Pirone was pleased to announce and induct the newest Tennis Victoria Life Member. Mark Collins has dedicated a lifetime to tennis in Victoria from officiating, administration, leadership and as a player.


Most Outstanding Club or Centre

Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club

Victorian Spirit of Tennis

Susie Norton

Coaching Excellence – Club or Centre     

BTS Coaching Academy (Fawkner Tennis Club)

Volunteer Achievement

Craig Douglas (Scoresby Tennis Centre) & Louise Thornton (Yackandandah Tennis Club)

Most Outstanding Tournament

2024 Open 3K Rye Tennis Club 45th Annual Australia Day Event

Most Outstanding School  

Heatherwood School

Most Outstanding Inclusion Initiative 

A Gay Day on the Green (Bacchus Marsh Lawn Tennis Club)

Excellence in Officiating

Elizabeth Ross