Queanbeyan Park Tennis Club aims to increase member numbers

QUEANBEYAN Park Tennis Club interim President Andrew Schmocker says community outreach is key to furthering his club's success ahead its reunion this Saturday.

The club is inviting all members past and present to its reunion at the club house in Queanbeyan Park from 1pm where memorabilia will be on display, as well as the awarding of life members and certificates of appreciation.

But while the club has a rich history dating back to the 1890s, Schmocker, who will be officially made President in three weeks, is looking to promote the club and boost member numbers back to 300 to enable more competitions to be held.

In the last 15 years, he said member numbers at the club have declined with the advent of modern technologies.

And in recent years they have also struggled to compete with the Jerrabombera Tennis club which until three years ago had more modern facilities.

He would like to see a significant increase on the current number of 130 which only allows them to hold a mixed-sex senior competition.

"What we're trying to do is get the tennis club's name back out there a little bit and try and reinvigorate people to come back and physically play sport again," said Schmocker.

"Tennis, like all sports, goes up and down. In the past 15 years numbers have died off."

The club caters for most ages, with current members ranging from around five years of age to in the 70's.

While the club cannot afford to commercially advertise, they have strong connections with local schools, and aim to attract more students to the club this year.

Their competition with the Jerrabombera club, according to Schmocker, has been with a younger population demographic and professional coaching, but he would like to see the two clubs work together in the future.

"With Jerrabombera being the club it is we'd like to have some competitions or social games between us and Jerra," said Schmocker.

The club's 'hey day' was back in the 1920s when in Queanbeyan alone it had around 50 tennis courts.

It now uses half this amount.

But Schmocker said the vibe around the club was improving.

"It's more about bring people back to social tennis and coming down and having a good time," he said.

Schmocker said fitness was a great aspect of tennis, and hopes this will also help boost membership numbers.

Last year the club hired coach Bronwyn Kitchener, who runs the junior program and trains juniors, to improve the quality of tennis at the club.

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