Not many local sporting organisations can trace their roots back more than a hundred years, but Newstead Tennis and Squash Centre is one of them.
With more than 300 members, the centre originated in the Northern Tasmanian Lawn Tennis Association, first created in 1899.
The Olive Street site is owned by the members, and the club hosts four tennis courts and two squash courts.
The squash courts were built in the 1950s to complement the tennis courts.
Club president Denis Hume said it was thanks to the vision of those first tennis and squash aficiandos that Newstead still has the property and can celebrate 60 years of squash.
“We have recently completed major renovations to these courts which included relining of front walls, a new floor to one court and painting throughout,” Hume said.
“The value of the work was well in excess of $40,000 and has been funded by sponsors, donors and member contributions in cash and in kind.”
Hume said the club was proud of the diversity of members and the close-knit atmosphere in the club.
“We currently have about 75 gents, ladies, boys and girls with ages ranging from early teens to 80’s competing in our squash pennant roster,” he said.
“Two of the club’s juniors did very well at the Tasmanian Junior Squash Championships held in Hobart recently.”
Emma Clyde won the under-17s girls championship and her younger brother, Joseph, placed sixth in his age group.
After picking up the sport through an in-school program aged 12, Emma has risen through the ranks to become not just a competitive player but also an accredited squash coach as well – just like her father Robert.
“It’s a great way to get fit and it’s loads of fun,” she said.
Hume said the club is planning to celebrate its 60th year of squash with a function open to all past and present players on Friday, March 24, at 7pm.
“A highlight of the evening will be the unveiling of an honour board which will list the club’s squash champions over the past 20 years,” Hume said.
“It will be great if we can have these players join us to celebrate their achievements.”
He said the honour board would be named in memory of Bryan Lee, a long-term club member and competitor who died last year.
“Bryan was a highly respected member of our club for over 40 years and the naming of our championship board in his honour is a an appropriate way to acknowledge his contribution,” Hume said.
For further details on Newstead Tennis and Squash’s 60th anniversary function, contact Denis Hume on 0438447055.