Club back on court

Game on . . . Mornington-Roslyn Lawn Tennis Club members (from left) Hot Shots co-ordinator Cynthia Winkworth, immediate past president Mike Jameson and president Sonia Alexanian at the club's courts last week. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Mornington and Roslyn tennis players are set to get back on court after a “tough” couple of years.

In the past four years, the club has been out of action twice for months at time due to cracks in the court, and damage from heavy rain and flooding in July 2017.

Club member Mike Jameson said the courts were built in the 1930s and had started to crack over the years.

“Within a month of them getting resurfaced they would be cracked all over again.”

In the 2015/16 season, the club committee decided to redo them again.

“That was a big effort to try to get the funding . . . and the courts now are in much better shape.”

But, about a year later, during the flooding in 2017, a nearby bank collapsed and forced the club to close.

Club president Sonia Alexanian said it was “devastating”.

Dunedin City Council staff assessed the damage and told club members to stay away.

The club was due to have its season open day two months later, but had to move to Otago Boys’ High School courts.

“When the courts were getting resurfaced that took months.

“In 2017 it was unavailable again. We lost a lot of members.”

The council was eventually able to fix the bank – it was reinforced and a retaining wall was built.

“It’s really solid reinforcement. They said it’s not going to come down again.”

Now, club members were looking forward to the future – one with, hopefully, fewer interruptions.

The club has recently received a $7500 grant from the Lions Foundation to repaint the courts, and are waiting to hear back about another application.

Hot Shots co-ordinator Cynthia Winkworth said improving the court was a 20-year initiative, so it showed how passionate club members were.

“Members who have been around all those years really believe in trying to keep them in as good a condition as possible.”

Today and tomorrow, the club is hosting a Love Tennis event – a Tennis New Zealand initiative which encourages more people to take part in the sport.

Jameson said it was a challenging time “but we’ve survived”.