Five senior players from Wangaratta Lawn Tennis club are Bound for South Australia , just like in the old folk song of the same name. Putting aside the disappointment of the cancellation of the Victorian Country Week Tournament earlier this year due to the snap COVID lockdown, this excited group of players have entered in the 33rd Berri Teams Carnival of tennis in the Riverland of South Australia under the team name “Wang(aratta) Warriors.”
The Tennis Seniors SA Teams Carnival commonly known as The Berri Teams Carnival is celebrating its 33rd year in 2021 and is looking forward to welcoming teams back after a year off, due to COVID 19. The carnival is open to Tennis Seniors players over the age of 30 as of December 2020.
The “Wang(aratta) Warriors”will be playing in the mens 65 plus group which has six teams. Team manager Noel Boyd reports that they are just one of 89 teams of seniors in various age groups. As usually occurs in Victoria's Country Week Annual Tournament there will be slightly more womens teams than mens. This year 48 senior womens teams will participate as opposed to 41 mens senior teams.
Noel reported that while the majority of teams are from South Australia some other states will be represented, including Tasmania. He said that of course while enjoying the tennis and the highlights of the Riverland they will also be promoting Wangaratta's local tennis scene and the many splendors of Victoria's North East as they make new tennis friends and so encouraging others to come here for a visit.
The “Warriors” plan to leave Wangaratta early Wednesday morning in readiness to play on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Matches will be played not just in Berri, but also in the other nearby Riverland towns of Barmera, Loxton and Renmark.
Pictured from left to right at the Wangaratta Lawn Tennis Courts are the Wang Warriors who are feeling excited about their imminent interstate travel: Russel O`Brien, Peter Ablezej, Noel Boyd, Mick Keogh and Geoff Allen. The team outfits are generously sponsored by Libelle Massage.
End of Carnival Report
The Wang Warriors from Wangaratta`s Lawn tennis Club are now the weary Wang Warriors after completing competition over Saturday 15th to Monday 17th in the Berri Teams tennis Carnival in the South Australia`s Riverland.
The five man team competing in the 65plus group convincingly won their play-off on Monday afternoon to cement third placing in their group of six teams.
Their first match on Saturday 15th saw the Warriors playing in Berri and having a convincing win against the Clearview Crocs team from Clearview in Adelaide.
The next match that day was at Renmark against Hoopers Heroes team from Adelaide and saw the Warriors score another convincing win with a score of 6.7 out of a possible 6.8. This led the team to feel very confident going into Sunday`s games. However the bubble burst and the Adelaide team sent the warriors packing without winning a set. The best they could muster was a fighting 5-9 loss from Russell O`Brien and Noel Boyd. The other scores were under this mark.
Stocks went down further after being beaten by an even better team from South Adelaide. The best score in this match against the Baseliners was 4-9 from Russell O`Brien and Peter Ablezej.
On Monday things were again on the up, this time at the Barmera courts, with a confidence restoring 3 sets to 1 win against The Gully Rebs from Tea Tree in Adelaide.
So the scene was set for the play-off in Berri for third placing, and a great win was secured. The team was pleased to have the set score change from a
9 game set to standard 6 game set. This suited the wearying Warriors who sprinted to the line and won three of the four sets, and so the match, for a pleasing overall third place.
The Warriors enjoyed their tennis immensely, team manager Noel Boyd reported, as well as meeting other senior players from other states. He said that they have extended an open welcome to interstate players to visit and play in Victoria`s North East seniors tournaments and other major tournaments in the region. He also mentioned how much players had enjoyed visiting the many wineries in the Riverland region and were bringing home some samples to share.
Below: On and off court during the carnival.
Another cracking day at Merriwa Park saw 68 juniors take to the lush courts for the Junior Mixed Doubles Club Championships. Some great pre-match skills, drills and fun with Michelle and Peter Hill was a terrific way to start the day. Thanks Michelle and Pete! A few late arrivals had the tournament organisers scrambling to get the 8.30am start underway. Only a few more weeks to go for the juniors, so come on all, out of bed early and get to the courts on time please.
All tournament age levels were well contested with some long matches and close results. Marley McGinniskin and Dakoda Leavett-Brown recorded a solid win in the top age group and a first ever win for Dakoda after many years in the junior ranks - well done DLB! Nice to see the Sinclair siblings in Gabrielle and Mitchell teaming up and after a slow start they played some fine tennis.
In the 14 and under section Tilly Flynn continued the family tradition of notching up trophies and was well supported by one of most promising junior players in Henry Dean - keep an eye out for that name. In a well balanced final, Tilly and Henry prevailed 4-2 over Finn Vogels and Sienna Koop.
In our largest field, the 12 and under, the Liddell sisters again lined up in the final against one another. This week however the result went Emily's way, so peace is restored in the Liddell household. Emily was well partnered by Leo Sammon and Chloe with Nick Kjar - the result coming down to a tie breaker after many long tight rallys. A very entertaining final to watch, especially from such young competitors - well done to the 4 of you
In the under 10's it was also a tie-breaker required to separate the finalists. Hamish Kerr was in great form and partnered with the Little General in Tessa Koop; they prevailed...just. Rose Hogan and Josh Duffy played some great shots and fought back after being well down to force a tie breaker.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the mixed doubles event and the opportunity to play a mixed-gender sport - something not available in most other sports. Another reason why tennis is terrific!!
See you all in a fortnight - no tennis on Labor Day long weekend, then back the following Saturday.
See results on the Juniors web page.
Saturday 20th Feb was another majestical day down at Merriwa Park, perfect conditions and courts in incredible condition – big shoutout to greens committee led by Max McAulliffe.
Seventy players competed for Junior Singles Club Championships on Saturday morning with a great level of competitive good sportsmanship was on display.
Singles is a great chance for the juniors to really show their wares and some terrific tennis was produced across all age groups. With players sorted into age groupings rather than aggregate groups, many players were playing against different opponents with each having a chance to assess their own progress against their peers. The juniors seemed to revel in the tournament environment - so well done to all players!
Strong numbers of players in each age group was very pleasing and particularly in Under 14 girls with 16 players, five of whom are new this year. Keep it going girls you are our star group this year!
Interesting to see some strong family results with both the McInnes and Liddell sisters performing very strongly - amazing how a good hitting partner and some practice can improve your results.
Well done to Hugh Canning, who played in a higher age group and still had a win as the top Junior Boy this year. Special mention to Tessa Koop - the Little General went through the morning without dropping a game. Two terrific group finals in Under 10 and Under 12 boys, with a very high standard of tennis on display.
Results can be found on the juniors web page.
Your Committee have been concerned about our Clubhouse vulnerability in such a quiet, poorly lit park. Experience at Shepparton regarding repeated break in and theft have suggested that we have had a lucky track record at WLTC.
In seeking better security, we have had a wonderful offer from a great community supporter and good friend of WLTC, Mario Pane of Pinkerton Security. Pinkerton Security has installed a 24/7 monitored security system this year.
Essentially this will only affect you if you are the holder of a clubhouse key. We think we have identified all key holders and given them passwords to turn on/off the alarm as they unlock/lock the door. If you have a key and do not have a password, ring or text Secretary, Michael Falkenberg on 0418392906 or go to our website and use the message option on the “Contact us” page.
This initiative represents a major change for our members. Those intimidated or unfamiliar with the technology, please ask for assistance. We do not want any barriers to members accessing the courts in their own time.
You will notice that unavoidably, we have had to reshuffle court numbering - sorry for the change to tradition!
The technology does not affect you if you just turn up for scheduled events like Twilight, Thursday (Mixed and Ladies), Saturday tennis or any other ‘Light Facilitated’ events that we hope to offer this year. On these occasions the gate will be open automatically.
If you want to play casual tennis with friends, one of the party will need to access Book a Court (BAC).
Soon you will receive by email, an invitation to “sign on” to Book a Court – you will then be recognised as a club member (and not charged) when Booking. Those members without a recorded email at WLTC will receive a text - please respond to this text with your email or let us know if you have none.
Thereafter, either from computer at home or from your smart phone (at least 10 minutes before booking time) book a court and time, your PIN will open for the gate from 10 minutes before the booking time. Apart from the fact that you have to book on the half hour, this will be otherwise very easy with a saved web address or use the link on our WLTC website.
There will be signage on the fence to assist non-members and members. In the daytime, your exact court number choice still remains optional after you are through the gate.
Members will play free in daylight, but we ask you to collect green fees ($ as on the hire fee box) from non-members in your party and pay for them, as you have always done.
If (as a member) you book a slot when it will be dark (i.e. the lights will be activated), you will have to pay with your credit card (tick a box to remember your details for easy booking on subsequent times). We decided that the light costs will be borne by “user pays” rather than the general membership. Costs are however reasonable – see table at the end.
Benefits of BAC
The BAC is encouraged by Tennis Australia as part of our lighting system. It has however several advantages for us, that balance the loss of our casual access by having an electronically locked gate.
Firstly, we have realised that since the departure from the Club of the late Bryan Curran, we’ve noticed a dramatic drop in hire fee income from non-members. Many free players are going unchallenged currently. This impacts on the club finances and imposes pressure on membership fees. BAC will alert users that this is a membership club (not RCoW council free facility) that has overheads. BAC can collect the appropriate hire fees electronically for non-member use.
Secondly, our Coach and his staff benefit hugely form light options, and we need this activity to feed in tomorrow’s members and users for tennis generally.
Thirdly, whilst there will be some money in the hire fee box from non-members paying to play with members, parties of non-members, and members using lights will be paying electronically. This reduces our security exposure.
Fourthly, it would be impossible to have ready access to the lights for both members and non-members without a system to turn on the lights (without clubhouse access), as well as quarantining light costs to users only.
Finally, increasingly there seems to be Tennis Australia, Government and Council grants for improvements to Clubs. We have received assistance with several grants towards: the lights (Tennis Australia, RCoW, Sport and Recreation Victoria) Book a Court (RCoW , pending from Tennis Australia) and Hotshots Court Fencing (RCoW community grants).
Initiatives like BAC help us to track participation which is then helpful in future grant applications. With signage and a modest cost structure, increased participation and usage from non-members will be clearly welcomed and tracked – helping our case.
Court Hire Costs