Launceston International volunteers share a drive for tennis

VOLUNTEER: Noel Eagling has spent the last week driving competitors at this year's Launceston International tennis tournament. Picture: Scott Gelston
VOLUNTEER: Noel Eagling has spent the last week driving competitors at this year's Launceston International tennis tournament. Picture: Scott Gelston

As the Launceston International heads into its final day, the tournament’s volunteer drivers have transported more than 750 passengers and made over 450 trips. 

Tennis North president Rod Meldrum said one of the most important parts of any tournament was getting players to the courts each day.

“Many of the drivers are from local tennis clubs and are in their third or fourth year of volunteering,” he said.

“The drivers really enjoy meeting players and gain wonderful insights into their country, culture and life on the professional tennis circuit.

“Our youngest driver Tom has taken a week’s leave from work to do the driving, while our oldest driver is tennis legend Max Byrne.

“We frequently let the players know that they are travelling with a world top 10 player – albeit in the over 85s.”

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This year 16 drivers stepped up to the role, with cars provided by Buckby Motors.

Transporting players to and from the event as well as their accommodation, Mr Meldrum said some drivers even went the extra step of showing off city attractions, including Cataract Gorge. 

Volunteering for the second year, driver Noel Eagling said it was a fantastic opportunity to engage with people from all over the world. 

“I am a people-person, so for me it is really about meeting new faces,” he said. 

“There is something really great about how this tournament brings people together from all over the world and everyone here loves tennis.

“I will be back again next year most definitely.”