Thursday, June 13, 2024

Donald’s long weekend of tennis

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Over the long weekend, the Donald Lawn Tennis Club held its 70th Labour Day Tournament in some of the hottest weather conditions the tournament has experienced for many years.

In what was a cool summer in the Mallee, heat wave was timed to perfection for the three-day weekend! Thankfully the pool was open at the end of day’s play for everyone to cool off.

Although numbers were down slightly due to the heat, it was a huge weekend for the club, with the unveiling of the Tony Goode Pavilion and two life member announcements, along with three days of great tennis, and a catch up with old friends.

Tony Goode Pavilion

On a glorious Sunday night, with family and friends gathered, the DLTC unveiled the Tony Goode Pavilion to honour his life and legacy by naming the clubhouse after him. Tony was synonymous with Donald Tennis for over 35 years, spending countless hours helping maintain the tennis courts, including mowing, lining, setting up nets, spraying, fertilising, grooming, top dressing just to name a few. Tony was also heavily involved in maintaining the surrounds together with the help of his family and, of course, Tony became renowned for recycling around the community, and the tennis club was no different. After the annual Labour Day tournament, Tony would spend hours sorting cans, plastic, and other items of rubbish into separate compartments to be taken away to recycling depots.

Quite apart from his work around the club, Tony also served on the tennis club committee for 30 plus years, was president for six years between 2008 and 2015, and was treasurer for a number of years. Tony led many of the developments that helped keep the tennis club going, such as the automatic watering system, the refurbishment of this clubhouse, the establishment of the hard courts and many others.

Tony wasn’t the most powerful player in terms of the sheer speed he could hit the ball. However, his placement and ability to return the ball were outstanding. Many a tennis opponent has been left frustrated as well as gobsmacked by Tony’s ability to deftly place the ball where he wanted, but also to change from right-handed to lefthanded at will. In the last few years that he played tennis, his ability to do this had some of the younger members of the club nicknaming him “the surgeon” with sheer amazement at what he could do.

So on the 70th anniversary the DLTC was proud to welcome everybody to the Tony Goode Pavilion.

Other major announcements on Sunday night were two new life members to the DLTC.

Ann Maree Wright, Life Member

Ann Maree was involved in many aspects of the DLTC from player, junior president, senior committee member and everything in between. She was heavily involved with the junior tennis and was president from around 2005 to 2009. Ann Maree organised the junior tennis teams and competition on a Saturday morning with six teams of 8, or around 50 competition players and an extra 15-20 younger kids being coached. It made for a busy Saturday morning at the clubhouse. Anne Maree rounded up all the kids (and parents) prior to starting the day, made sure they knew the rules and abided by them and were organised with hats, drinkers, racquets and balls.

Throughout Saturday morning, Ann Maree would find time to check over the players and make sure they were well matched to their position in the team to ensure an even competition. She was also very conscious of keeping the canteen well stocked with lollies, icy poles and drinks for the kids. Ann Maree loved the juniors, always checking on their progress and trying to organise extra activities or a coaching session for interested players. Any little job that needed to be done, Ann Maree was happy to make sure it was attended to. She was particular about the cleanliness and behaviour in the clubhouse of the junior players, helping instil respect for their surroundings and peers.

She also spent many hours applying for grants, to help keep the club ticking along. So, all past junior players and parents, thank Ann Maree for the hours she invested into junior tennis.

Ann Maree also played tennis for many years for the Donald Lawn Tennis Club. She had the privilege of playing in a premiership team in 2003/4. Unfortunately, her tennis playing career was cut short with a painful ongoing injury in her feet. Instead of quietly retiring Ann Maree diverted her efforts towards the senior tennis committee.

She was heavily involved in the renovation of the clubrooms and has always helped extensively with the garden around the place. Whether it’s putting straw on garden beds or rearranging her beloved Yakka plants or pruning, she has been there to make it happen.

We believe this is Anne Maree’s 26th year of Labour Day involvement since joining the senior committee. She has always taken leadership when it comes to organising tournament sponsorship and the raffle as well as setting the cleanliness standards of the clubhouse. Kitchen cupboards, toilets, floors, windows, drinks fridge and bar; nothing is left untouched! One last, but not least, little feature of Ann Maree’s attachment to the club is when she turns up, out of the blue, to check in with everything and everyone. In through the kitchen door, armed and ready for the next task to help the club along the way.

Stuart Potter, Life Member

You know when your bowling figures are 0 wickets for 150 runs and you haven’t made a run yourself for a few weeks, and then you spend the rest of the day in the outfield, you start thinking, “perhaps I’m just playing the wrong sport”.

It was around that time that the legendary club person Tony Goode convinced Stuart Potter to come and play tennis. And now the Donald Lawn Tennis Club endorses Stuart Potter to become a life member.

Stuart Potter has resided in Donald for 37 years after moving from Benalla. A school teacher by trade, at the Donald High School, Stuart started playing cricket with Donald team ANA before joining the tennis club around 1997. Stuart then embraced a love for tennis and this club. He played in the then Kara Kara League and won a premiership for Cope Cope in 2003/4.

He has been president of the club 6 times, and secretary for one year in the 2020/21 season. He has also been club captain too many times to remember. Stuart is also happy to be the player to swap to the other team just so more people can get a game of tennis. The young people of the small club have benefitted from this decision.

Stuart is on the executive of the North Central Tennis Association, holding the president position this year. He has compiled the league tennis draws for as long as can be remembered, and the league really appreciates his fairness when considering all the participating towns’ desires.

Stuart Potter is known for his incredible positivity around the club. When tournament time approaches, Stuart goes to another level with his love of hosting the tournament. His excitement reaches peaks not seen since the Brisbane Lions won 3 premierships in a row each year, when the tournament approaches.

Stuart is also remembered for the famous quiz nights that the DLTC ran each year, as well as organising the printing of the tournament fliers and being active on the social media with club news.

The beautiful lawn surrounding at the DLTC precinct is essentially Stuart’s work and he also helps with the marking of the lines, but his most known love is that of his whippersnapper. He has spent countless hours keeping the grass edges neat around the club.

Stuart was the brainchild of organising a league day where all opposing clubs came to Donald as a fundraiser for the MND foundation in support of Tony Goode. What a successful day that was.

He has been involved in attracting sponsorship for the tournament, the All-Abilities tennis program, and has been the scribe for the local paper for many years. Generally known for his entertaining articles, although recently the president had to question what level of detail was getting to print.

Regarding Stuart’s tennis ability, let’s say it matches the common man. A unique serving style that has served him well. Stuart is also terrific company at the end of the day’s play and he has helped the economic prosperity of the Queensland town of Bundaberg with his love of the iconic Bundaberg Rum.

The DLTC congratulates both Anne Maree and Stuart.

Thank you to all volunteers, sponsors, committee, and members leading up to and over the Labour Day weekend and congratulations also to all the winners, runners-up and competitors. The club hopes to see you again in 2025.

70th Labour Day Tennis Results

Day 1, Singles

Men’s open singles: winner, Rhyse Mazza; runner-up, Nick Olynyk.

Men’s “A” singles: winner, Riley Faulkner; runner-up, Damien Goodman.

Men’s “B” singles: winner, Braxton Hollis; runner-up, Aidan Goode.

Men’s “D” singles: winner, Jack Reilly; runner-up, Jasper Chiang-Hsieh.

Women’s open singles: winner, Rossatorn Aksharanugraha, Catherine Grant.

Women’s “B” singles: winner, Alice Paget; runnerup, Amy Jacobson.

Women’s “D” singles: winner, Laila Reilly; runnerup, Jo Fincher.

Boys’ under-13 singles: winner, Harris Mamone; runner-up, Noah Sacdpraseuth.

Veterans’ singles: winner, Troy Wright; runner-up, Kathryn Reitter.

Day 2, Men’s and Women’s Doubles

Men’s open doubles: winners, Derek Hollis and Troy Wright; runners-up, Marco Bragagnolo and Eduardo Dominguez.

Men’s “A” grade doubles: winners, Damien Goodman and Linden Goodman; runners-up, Darren Flaherty and Paul Rowan.

Men’s “B” grade doubles: winners, Anthony Archbold and Mark Mortlock; runnersup, Braxton Hollis and Dawson Hollis.

Men’s “C” grade doubles: winners, Bruce Maher and Jake Maher; runners-up, Harris Mamone and Noah Sacdpraseuth.

Men’s “D” grade doubles: winners, Samuel Mortlock and Max Reilly; runners-up, Myles Hollis and Jack Reilly.

Women’s open doubles: winners, Jacque Sacdpraseuth and Elizabeth Smith; runnersup, Emily Reitter and Kathryn Reitter.

Women’s “B” grade doubles: winners, Sue Gravina and Sarah McDonald; runners-up, Karen Shaw and Janine Wright.

Women’s “C” grade doubles: winners, Kristy Davidson and Renae Maher; runners-up, Cherie Reilly and Laila Reilly.

Day 3, Mixed Doubles

Open mixed doubles: winners, Jeff Friberg and KateLyn Perkin; runners-up, Troy Wright and Jacque Sacdpraseuth.

“A” grade mixed doubles: winners, Riley Faulkner and Jasmine McDonald; runnersup, Stuart Donald and Kathryn Reitter.

“B” grade mixed doubles: winners, Nik Olynyk and Alice Paget; runners-up, Josh Potter and Amy Jacobson.

“C” grade mixed doubles: winners, Bruce Maher and Kristy Davidson; runners-up, Jake Maher and Renae Maher.

Under-13 mixed doubles: winners, Noah Sacdpraseuth and Mia Chiang-Hsieh; runners-up, James Wright and Georgia Sacdpraseuth.

The Buloke Times, 15 March 2024

See all the photos in the issue.

This article appeared in The Buloke Times, 15 March 2024.

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