In late 2017 we resurfaced lawn courts 7 and 8 prior to the Australian Money Tournament that we hosted in February 2018. This initiative was driven by Greenkeeper James McGregor who had been approached by McLaren Vale Lawn Bowls club who were converting some greens from natural turf to artificial turf. This was a large undertaking across a very intensive week. It required removing existing turf (which was sold off to locals or dumped), soil preparation / levelling then installing the new turf that was supplied in squares approx 400mm x 400mm. A number of Club members volunteered their time to lay the turf. We were blessed with a good combination of rain and sun over the next few weeks and the courts were playable 8 weeks from being laid and these became 2 of the best 2 lawn courts in Adelaide. These 2 courts previously had a mixture of grass types and some of our poorer courts and being in front of the Clubhouse they deserved to be better. It gives us the experience and confidence to replace more courts in the future as suitable turf becomes available.
Also in the 2017/18 season we invested in the Club House by updating the audio/PA system and updating the outdoor tables. We also worked with our 3 co-tenants (lawn bowls, croquet and Colonel Light Gardens Uniting Church Tennis Club) to install a defibrillator supported by a $1400 City of Mitcham Mayoral Grant and an anonymous donor for the balance of our share.
In season 2018/19 replaced the fridge and carpets as well as repainting. It was around this time that we purchased a commercial glass washer for the bar as well.
In 2019/20 we had a significant change in our court access from a development related to the 3 hardcourts, which have for many years been leased by the Colonel Light Gardens Uniting Church Tennis Club (CLGUCTC) which is an independent tennis club. Reade Park had been lucky enough to sub-lease these courts from CLGUCTC for a few years which has been required for our Junior club development and they have been very accommodating in this regard. Due to declining membership and limited financial resources the CLGUCTC decided to cease being the lessee of the courts and they now are included in our lease with the City of Mitcham which is an important development for us.
Competition Tennis – Seniors
A very steady decade with consistently fielding 10 mid week ladies teams, 8 Saturday morning men and 3 Metro Lawn teams.
Competition Tennis – Juniors
In 2015 we took baby steps towards setting up a junior club at Reade Park. This began with some Community Tennis coaching on a Sunday morning which was provided at minimal cost to parents and provided by Volunteers including Ann Langman, Tom Twelftree and Paul Griffin. This gave us the confidence to progress to a junior club. The timing was good with a number of members who all had children approaching the age of 6-9 which provided a critical mass.
The following 2016/17 season we entered 3 teams into the Southern Districts Tennis Association (2 x Orange Ball and 1 x Green Ball) .
This was the first year that the Cecily Carman Memorial Trophy was awarded , having been generously donated to the Club by Bill Carman. Cecily loved seeing kids around the Club so this was a fitting way to preserve her name at Reade Park.
At this time we also had Genevieve Rivas in the position of Club Coach, supported by 2 assistants. They had 54 children aged between 4 and 12 undertaking coaching during the season and some have continued into the winter season. Paul Griffin took over shortly thereafter at a time where we had 81 kids being coached!
When Paul returned to full time work in 2017/18 he was good enough to introduce us to Nick Bradley and the Foundation Tennis Development (FTD) team who were providing a high quality coaching program at Somerton Park Tennis Club.
Josh Boots from FTD was then engaged as our Club Coach to deliver all coaching services from January 2018. It was always the plan to have an external party take over and FTD has brought a lot to the table already in organising a school holiday clinic, winter coaching and running a fantastic internal tournament for our kids. Other coaches who supported Josh at this time included Miguel Antunes, Mike Reader, Olivia Manzie, Maxim Paskalutsa and Nick Bradley.
The Junior Club grew each year and in 2018/19 we had 12 teams! This was effectively our maximum and we were only able to do this by leasing courts at Tennis World Millswood.
Junior Coordinators during this era included Sirelle Mollison and Meagan Phillips – this was a pivotal role during the consolidation of our junior club and both ladies did a great job.
FAST4 tennis was be launched in October 2016 and in 2018/19 we were able to introduce the concept to Sturt and Millswood who reported great success with the concept. We did get both these Clubs to join us at Reade Park for one session but each Club has a sustainable FAST4 group now so we will continue independently of each other. FAST4 offers an opportunity for social mixed doubles tennis on a Wednesday night between 6.30 and 7.30pm. There was no obligation to join as a member and one could attend once a year or weekly with no need to commit in any way. We saw a number of junior parents and local residents participate and it led directly to additional teams and players in our senior competition. FAST4 has slightly modified rules and an informal atmosphere with ‘fast tennis being promoted’ and music being played as examples of this.
Jeremy Carter also ran a series of successful mixed double tournaments on some Sundays during this decade and this was indirectly replaced by the FAST4 concept.
Throughout the decade we hosted at least 1 Tennis SA junior tournament each year which was almost exclusively run by Committee Member Ann Langman who runs a great tournaments supported by Dawn Hurley who provided healthy and quality food via our canteen. As well as generating money for the club, these tournaments exposed junior tennis players to Reade Park and the beauty of lawn tennis. Some of these junior players will become Reade Park members in the future as lawn tennis appeals to them with ageing bodies.
From 2017 we commenced annual Junior tournaments with our now ‘sister Club’ Somerton Park. The format was that round 1 (singles) was played at Reade Park and the following week we played the singles finals and doubles at Somerton Park.
We were approached by Tennis SA to host a $5000 Platinum Australian Money Tournament in February 2018. There were 66 entries in the mens singles and 24 in the womens singles with doubles on top of that. It was a very significant undertaking for us and a level above the tournaments we have hosted in the past and involved organising umpires chairs, linespeople and sports trainers amongst other things. Ann Langman was the Tournament Director and I am pleased to say that we put on a great tournament.
We were also a host Club for the Australian Masters games in 2019.
In 2015 we held our 90th Birthday celebrations at a Saturday night event that was attended by approximately 100 people. It was a fabulous night.
During this decade we continued to run our annual Quiz night each year,
There were also regular monthly themed dinners up to around 2015 that were championed by Fran Carter.
It was around this time that we undertook a member survey which indicated that our members valued the club highly for playing tennis but had lesser need for regular social events. A lot of teams socialise as a team both at and outside the club and have busy active lives separate to Reade Park. As a result the club resolved to focus on the Quiz night as being the annual social event and other one off events as they might arise.
Separately to this, the annual Junior Break up event has become a mainstay on the calendar with well over 100 people attending this Sunday night family friendly event.
Ann Langman filled the role of President during the early years of the decade and Tom Twelftree took over for the 2017/18 season.
During this decade we had enormous stability in our Committee with Jeremy Carter in the Club Captain role, Darren Klenk as Treasurer and Dawn Hurley as Secretary. Other long term Committee members included Mike Bawden (who took over as Bar Manager from Bill Carman in about 2019), Ian Randell and Penny Twelftree. In the earlier years of the decade Committee Members included Sue Durand, John ‘JR’ Reynolds, Cecily Carman, Bill Carman Max Williams, John Secomb, Fran Carter and David Hume (including a stint as Captain).
Cecily Carman was a stalwart running the Saturday BBQ in the middle years of the decade until stepping aside due to poor health and Graeme Burrows was able to step in to assist.
Bill Carman and Max Williams were able to lend themselves to any job that required doing from reconfiguring the bar to allow the fridge to be replaced through to fixing gates or even replacing the shade sail – no job was too large.
Life Membership was awarded to Max Williams
Other changes and points of interest
During this decade we enjoyed increased membership and activity at the club and Members were pleased to hear that membership fees were only increased about every 3rd year on average due to consistent surpluses being realised.
The 2019/20 season fizzled out due to COVID
During this 2019/20 season Brendan Fisher took over the Greenkeeper contract from James Gregory at the start of the season.