History

HISTORY OVERVIEW

Historic Photos

The Club was formed in 1921 when, with the permission of the nearby owners, (Catherine Pritchard and Saleem Abotomey), a lease for 10 years was obtained from Council to use the southeast corner of Maitland Square Seacliff, to play tennis and develop tennis courts. Currently, this is the location of the Seacliff Kindergarten (corner of Kauri Parade and Maitland Street).

Two courts and facilities were built and a community event was held on 8 November 1924 to celebrate the commencement of club involvement in competition tennis. The Committee was President, Mr B Williams, Vice President Mr Franklin, Captain Mr J Wilson and Secretary Mr B. G. King. Afternoon tea was served under the direction of Miss T Wilson to an enthusiastic gathering, including new members. Matches commenced at Maitland Square the following Saturday.

In the early 1920s, Thomas Freebairn esquire subdivided land creating 77 building sites (known as Seacombe Park) near Seacombe House, which was his home. This was on the east side of Brighton Road and he transferred one allotment (lot 78) in Aboyne Avenue to Council as a reserve for recreational use. Council planned for new local sporting developments to be located at this site.

In 1925, a meeting was held in the committee room of the Glenelg Oval with delegates of tennis clubs in the region interested in forming a regional tennis association. Club delegates from Morphetville Park, Seacliff, St Peters Holdfast Bay, Glenelg Church of Christ, Oaklands and St Leonard’s Methodist were present and voted to form a new association called the Holdfast Bay Lawn Tennis Association. The elected chairman was Mr C Kendall. Rules were drafted and a program of matches developed for matches commencing on Saturday 24 October 1925. St Peters Holdfast defeated Seacliff 15 sets to 3 on that day.

Seacliff Tennis Club membership grew and in 1925 and early 1926, the Club held well attended community dances in the Kiosk Hall and raised money for 4 new courts at the Council supported site at Aboyne Avenue. In October 1926 another community dance was held at the Hall to celebrate the development of the new courts. The Hall was boldly decorated in the club colours, blue and gold.

From about 1947, results indicate Seacliff Tennis Club played in the Glenelg District Tennis Association and by results in 1952 new clubs such as Somerlea, Helmsdale, Ascot Park, Dover Square and Glenlea were among the competing Clubs.

A clubhouse was built and Aboyne Avenue tennis courts remained the principal site for the Club for many years. Other sports (planned bowling and croquet) did not locate on the site and a water gravity tank was built in 1975 on the remaining land. In the mid 1980s, lighting was erected on 2 courts enabling more tennis to be played at Aboyne Avenue, particularly for those not able to play in daylight hours.

During the late !980s, the Club grew rapidly and by 1990-91 season had over 200 members, requiring the Club to lease up to another 12 courts for its tennis activities during the summer season. Holdfast Bay Council worked with the Club and several local hockey clubs to develop a plan for new facilities at Kauri Parade Reserve. The new sports centre included a split level clubroom and a dual purpose hockey pitch which was convertible to 12 synthetic grass tennis courts. It was used by Hockey in the winter and Tennis in the summer. The Tennis Club played it’s first matches on this surface during the 1991/1992 tennis season. The first Club end of season Presentation Night at the new centre saw the Club celebrate premierships in Division 1,2, 5,7 and 15. Kauri Parade Reserve was named John Mathwin Reserve. John was a past Council Mayor supportive of reserve development.

This became the new home for Seacliff Tennis Club during the summer tennis competition season with Aboyne Avenue retained for winter competition and social tennis. The Kauri/ John Mathwin Reserve facility was the home of hockey for the Seacliff Hockey Club during winter hockey competition.

In 2014 a bold new plan for development of the Kauri Community Sports Centre as a consolidated site for year round community tennis, hockey and netball at Lipson Avenue, Seacliff was agreed with Council. The site at Aboyne Avenue was sold and 12 quality hardcourt tennis courts with lighting built on the southern part of John Mathwin Reserve area and a new 3 story facility built for the participating sports clubs, the Music Centre and community use. The site is the new home of Seacliff Tennis Club year round and the clubhouse is shared. Seacliff Hockey Club upgraded the old pitch to a year round international standard pitch.

The Seacliff Tennis Club commenced playing on the new courts in February 2016. The new building and upgraded carpark shared by tennis, hockey, netball, the Holdfast Bay Music Centre and the Council was opened by the Minister for Sport in August 2018.

Seacliff Tennis Club has a long history (nearly 100 years) of providing quality tennis playing opportunities, thanks to the efforts of many enthusiastic and competent volunteers, patrons, sponsors and strong council vision and support. Their efforts have ensured long term viability and success, both on and off the court.

Seacliff Tennis Club now has one of the best community tennis facilities and support environs in the state for the enjoyment of tennis.

This is a short history overview that misses many stories, events and recognition of significant individual and group contributions that you may wish to share with others.

Please submit any history information via email to Jeff Laubsch at jlaubsch@bigpond.com