Support gives Hillcrest Tennis Club lifeline

TIGHT KNIT: Hillcrest Tennis Club members John Attenborough, Madge Humphries, Chris Sokulsky, Elva Osborne, Ray Johnson, Dennis Osborne, James Lammas and Barbara Stokes.It is surrounded by houses and many may not even know it is there.
Nanjing Night Net

But Hillcrest Tennis Club has stood the test of time and is serving an important purpose for many residents in the suburb of Mayfield and surrounding areas.

The club, tucked away in Usk Street, has a rich community history. It was established in the late 1930s by sheet steel manufacturer Lysaght’s for the company’s workers. Back then, there was just one court and it is believed it was a battle to get on for a go, such was its popularity. These days theproperty is council owned but has been leased by Hillcrest Tennis Club for the past 50 years and it is the hard-working members of that club which have kept it running.

Twice Hillcrest Tennis Club has looked headed for collapse, most recently last year when the committee were struggling to find funds to resurface their two grass courts which were ageing and falling apart.

But it has been a long-standing, hard-working team which has kept the club in existence.

They secured a $40,000 grant from Port Waratah Coal Services last year and will officially unveil the new courts on February 11.

Club secretary Elva Osborne has been a member for around 32 years.

“If PWCS didn’t come to our rescue we would’ve had to fold because we didn’t have enough funds to replace the courts, so we are very lucky and grateful to them,” Ms Osborne said.

Ray Johnson, 79, has been the club president for over 20 years.

“The whole committee has always worked hard. If you work together you can achieve, and that is still our philosophy,” Mr Johnson said.

The club meets for a social hit of tennis twice a week and hires out the courts most days.

The ages of the club’s 70-oddmembers range from five to 84.

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