The club has a history that goes back more than 130 years, and what started as a two-court facility now boasts 14 courts available for club and community use.
Over the past 20 years the Club has invested more than $1 million in upgrading and maintaining the facilities for the benefit of the local community and its 500 members. Every court is floodlit for night tennis.
When coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions were first announced, club president Caryle Demarte was determined the club would not become a cluster site.
“We acted straight away,” she said. “The vast majority of the members supported us from the word go, and the rest came around pretty soon once they realised the seriousness of the pandemic.”
Caryle, who is also a board member of Tennis Victoria, said the club executives sat down and developed initial protocols based on advice at the time.
“We closed the clubhouse, went to online payments, stopped supplying food, did regular daily cleaning covered the seats and hung good hygiene and distancing guidelines on every gate. We introduced sanitiser and disposable hand towels in the toilets and closed the showers and changerooms, and that got us through until the lockdown.”
When the club was able to reopen it employed part time staff throughout opening hours to ensure people coming to play observed restrictions and signing in was managed safely.
“The idea is that people come, play and go,” she said. Spectators are not allowed inside.
“At this stage, parents are able to supervise children from outside the fence where there is direct line of site from the carpark to the courts.”
She said throughout the pandemic the club had been very proactive in communicating with Tennis Victoria, Sport and Recreation Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services and the City of Melbourne to ensure it was always aware of the latest updates and requirements.
Sport and Recreation Victoria has been working closely with State Sporting Associations to help them develop Return to Play guidelines for their codes.
“We’ve strictly followed the Tennis Victoria guidelines from the start including our return to play plan,” said Caryle.
She said the other secret to their success was being proactive and communicating regularly with club members and the community.
We’ve updated our website and Facebook page with new information as it occurs, and we’ve directly emailed all club members with updates and requirements.
The club applied for a $1000 grant from the Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package and was in the first tranche of 2077 grants announced this month.
Caryle said the money would come in extremely useful as the club had lost seven weeks of income and spent a lot of money making its facilities safe.
She said the grant would be spent on supplies of sanitiser, gloves, masks, protective clothing, bleach, cleaning products, disposable cloths and communication materials to help meet hygiene requirements and inform patrons.
Applications for Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Survival Package grants of $1,000 for clubs and up to $15,000 for associations and leagues are being accepted until 11.59pm on 30 June 2020.
For further information on the grants
For information on how Sport and Recreation Victoria can help you Return to Play