23 September 2020 | Tennis West

The Geraldton Tennis Club was a sea of pink earlier this month when more than 50 players hit the courts for the club’s annual round robin Pink Ladies Day competition.

Raising much needed funds and awareness for breast cancer research, the event was founded by Janniel Harris and Cathy Hancock (Dec), and has been running since 2006. Renowned for it’s fun format, this year’s event was the club’s first tournament back since the interruption to competitive play caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Geraldton TC Ladies Captain Julie Watson who is passionate about encouraging anyone and everyone to pick up a racquet, said the day brought mixed emotions as elated players returned to the club for the first event back since the enforced hiatus.

‘I’ve been involved in the Pink Ladies Day for a number of years and it’s always been a day to look forward to; and this year even more so than ever,’

‘We had lots of people join us on the day who had never played tennis before. They were playing with their kids and having a great time and that’s what gives me the most amount of enjoyment; is seeing people pick up a racquet and have a go,’

‘And with reports of people forgoing breast checks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was a great opportunity to get together for some fun on court, which then provided us with a platform to remind everyone of the importance of maintaining regular self-checks, scheduled mammograms and most importantly of getting anything suspicious looked at by a doctor,’

‘Tennis is such a great sport and I’m really passionate about sharing my love of the game and the benefits that it has to offer. Health, fitness and wellbeing benefits aside, it’s the friends that become like family that are a big part of what keeps me coming back season after season,’ Julie said.

Understanding the true value and depth of friendship that tennis affords, Geraldton and Tarcoola Tennis Club member and former Reabold Tennis Club President, Neesha Flint, had eight friends travel from Perth to Geraldton for the Pink Ladies Day event.

‘Last year I had two of my good friends make the trip and they had such a great time that this year there were eight of them who came up for the weekend,’

‘Our dear friend Marloes, who has travelled to Geraldton for the Pink Ladies Day for the last two years, has breast cancer, so the day is very close to our hearts,’

‘Last year she shared her breast cancer journey with everyone. We let her off this year and when we gave her a little shout out she replied with ‘I’m still here’; it was a special moment,’

A late comer to the game of tennis, Neesha didn’t start playing tennis until later in life and despite always wanting to learn to play, it took some time and a fair bit of courage for her to make that dream a reality.

‘I’d always wanted to play and yet the first time I walked into a club, I turned around and walked straight out.’

‘The following year I challenged myself to try again and very thankfully I was greeted by two of the loveliest ladies. They took me under their wing and that’s how my tennis journey began and I’ve been involved ever since,’

‘The friends I’ve made along the way have become some of my dearest friends and I wouldn’t have meet them if it wasn’t for tennis. We’re all liked minded people with the same interests of staying fit and healthy. Most importantly though, we love the game of tennis,’ Neesha said.

Geraldton Tennis Club President George Giudice congratulated Julie and the hard working organizing committee for the wonderful 2020 event and for their efforts in continuing to grow the event each year. With the lines painted pink, and players dressed in an array of pink themed costumes; the event raised over $500 for breast cancer research.

October 1 marks the beginning of National Breast Cancer month. To find out how your club can contribute to raising awareness and much needed funds, head to: