Social tennis returns serve on Covid-19

Alauralee Bowditch looks to send down a serve at the Tumut Lawn Tennis Club.

Tennis will return to Tumut this week after the Tumut Lawn Tennis Club decided to allow social and visiting players access to their facilities, a move that was instigated by the NSW government softening social distancing laws last Friday.

Unfortunately, the clubhouse will remained closed, but those players looking to knock out the cobwebs and have a hit are encouraged to take advantage of the Tumut Tennis Courts.

In a statement released on Friday, Tennis NSW acknowledged the importance of tennis within the community and hoped it would play a big part in the aftermath of Covid-19.

“We all know tennis is a unique sport with many benefits; the main one being health and wellbeing,” the statement read.

“The very nature of our game ensures there is a vital role our sport can continue to play for the benefit of the community as we endure the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Tennis NSW did stress that every club was different and it was up to each individual committee to decide how to proceed.

“Tennis clubs, associations, coaches, operators and local councils across the country are all different and operate in different local contexts,” the statement read.

“Making an assessment of whether a safe exercise environment can be provided also depends on a range of factors, which will apply differently within each council area and at each venue; it is the responsibility of each council, coach, club and operator to make that assessment based on their local environment.”

Tumut Lawn Tennis Club president John Piper held a meeting with his committee on Sunday, before deciding they would allow some social play under strict hygienic guidelines.

“The club house remains closed unfortunately, but members can play with a limit of four people per two courts and hands are to be sanitised before and after play and the hand sanitiser is to be supplied by the players,” Piper said.

“We also encourage people to supply their own balls and practice social distancing.”

Tumut Lawn Tennis Club would normally be in between competitions during the winter break, but Piper was encouraging members and non-members to visit their courts.

“This is normally a fairly quiet time for us but we have quite a few people who would like to get up there and play some tennis,” Piper said.

“All members are welcome to use the courts and any non-members wanting to play can contact myself (see contact details at the bottom of article).

“I have had a few people contact me already and I will being getting back to two or three of those to let them know they can play.”

Piper will lead a group of players taking to the courts on Tuesday, and expects more social groups to follow.

“We have a group of elderly gentleman who like to play every Tuesday afternoon and we will be back to it this week and I expect that the Tuesday ladies will start before too long,” Piper said.

To rewards those supporters of the Tumut Lawn Tennis Club, the committee extended membership, pushing back renewal until the end of September.

“We have extended membership, that would normally end in June, to the end of September,” Piper said.

“It seemed the only fair thing to do after everything that has happened.”

In the only negative, competition tennis and junior coaching is still on the backburner, with Piper and his committee waiting for more changes from the NSW Government.

“Our next competition won’t commence until October at least and as far as coaching is concerned, that is not on at the moment,” Piper said.

“Obviously with coaching they would normally have 10 or 12 kids and we can’t have that right now.”

For anyone wanting to get in touch with the Tumut Lawn Tennis Club, they can contact John Piper on 0423957917.