Tallygaroopna tennis club building from the juniors up

By Tyler Maher

Tallygaroopna Tennis Club is rebuilding from the ground up.

A return to the Shepparton Junior Tennis Association ranks this season has helped the club build excitement and momentum, laying the foundations for the future.

And, although starting its return campaign in undefeated fashion is providing an accelerator for that momentum, the cornerstone of the groundswell comes from nothing to do with wins or losses.

It takes just one training session with the team on a Friday night to see the real successes of the club can be measured through the yells of elation from children of all ages, or the sounds of their eager feet pelting across the court as they chase the next ball — all while parents mill around the edges and herd the stragglers.

“We started back up again with four original kids who had started a few years ago,” coach Cal Curtis said.

“They're going really well and are all only eight or nine and are from the one area.

“They've all got parents who played back in the day and they've got brothers and sisters who come along as well.

“They love it and it's a great place to be.”

Like in all small-town community sporting hubs there is also cricket, football, netball and even lawn bowls to be played and with tennis now back on the agenda at Tallygaroopna all of the disciplines can work together to keep the next generation involved.

“They love their sport, it's just a great community to be involved in at the moment,” Curtis said.

“I want more kids playing tennis which is great. A lot of the kids come through the footy club and that's why we wanted to rebuild it, to get everyone involved.

“They all just want to play sport and that's what we want as well.”

And even though the club does not currently have a senior pennant side, it will not be long before the current momentum spills over into the Shepparton District Tennis Association ranks once more.

“We won back-to-back flags (a few years ago), but it's been hard to get a team on the park again for the past couple of years,” former club president Travis Cooper said.

“But Cal's been doing plenty of coaching and has got the juniors up and running this year, so it's a good sign for the future, that's where it starts.”