Northbridge Tennis Club (NTC) celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2016. It was officially formed in 1926. Before that, it was known as the Kameruka Club.
The land was owned by Mr. Frank Cook and Mr. Degotardi . The residence situated on the property, faced Euroka Street with the land running through to Lower Bligh Street. The courts were at the back of the property and rented out to the Club.
The annual fee was 6 pounds or 10/- per month. Court 1 (western court) was lit for night tennis. The clubhouse stood between Court 1 and the cliff face running north to south. The clubhouse contained a billiard table. The Club also had a small swimming pool, which was located where the clubhouse is today.
During the Depression in the 1930’s, part of the club was put under mortgage until the bank foreclosed and took over possession as the mortgagee, apart from 10 cms of land at the end of one of the courts, which was still owned by Mr Degotardi, and not subject to sale.
During this time an unusual incident occurred. Whilst an A2 Grade competition match was in progress, Mr Degotardi appeared on court with a mattock (like a pick) in hand. To everyone’s amazement, he proceeded to dig up his 10 cms of court, which still belonged to his wife!
After a year or so, the courts were sold by the ‘bank’ as mortgagee in possession, and Mr. Cook (the other part owner) to a Mr. Shortis. This included Mr Degotardi’s 10 cms of land! Mr. Shortis continued renting the courts to the Club until 1947, when the Club purchased the courts for the princely sum of 700 pounds.
The Club has always been affiliated with the Northern Suburbs Tennis Association, and had from the beginning entered teams in the various grades. Our President in the 1930’s, Mr S.E. Wynn was also the President of the NSTA. The NSTA Secretary, Mr J. Trickett was also a Club member. Other pre WW2 members included Mr. H.E. “Tiger” Birch, Mr. J.O. Jones and Mr. Alf Foster. Another local identity and NTC past Club Champion was Mr. Max Campbell, who twice survived being torpedoed during the war and was involved in the infamous Burma Railroad before dying of pneumonia in Japan.
Max Campbell, Neil Cook and Les Coppin all attended Northbridge Public School in the 1920’s and played together at the Club for many years.
In 1945, the Club was incorporated as a limited company under the NSW Companies Act, so was required to lodge annual financial returns within 60 days of the close of the financial year. However, as the Club was a non-profit organisation it applied for an exemption, which was granted.
In 1959, the new clubhouse was built for the sum of $6,690 and located at the southern end of Court 1. In 1981, the Club installed the ‘Mod Grass’ courts for $38,440 similar to what we play on today. The posts and wire were erected by the Club members to reduce the loans raised in the early years. This has been a great feature of the Club, where the “Working Bee” has been alive and active and still is to this day.
In more recent years, the Club has been involved with Tennis NSW, Tennis Australia and Tennis Seniors Australia to help promote the game that we all love. We had Steve Healy, the President of Tennis Australia as our guest speak at our Annual Dinner in 2011. Steve is a resident of Northbridge and always a welcome guest of the Club.
In 2013, Northbridge celebrated its 100 anniversary as a suburb and Northbridge Tennis Club was involved in those celebrations.
The Club has been always actively used by its members, some of whom have been playing at the Club for over 50 years and by the local community for coaching, competition matches or social tennis. It is a great Club, with great traditions and long may it be so.
Northbridge Tennis Club is managed by the Club Committee on a voluntary basis.
Our mission is,
“To continue to develop NTC by improving the facilities, the playing standard and the financial stability of the Club, whilst maintaining our core values and beliefs. This can be measured by an increase in member satisfaction and financial performance.”
The key elements of the mission are to:
- Improve the Club facilities – such as the clubhouse, courts and surrounds.
- Improve the playing standard – by offering coaching for members; active participation in NSTA, Badge, Tennis Seniors Australia & Tennis Seniors ITF tournaments, as well as internal competitions and competitive social tennis. Also, by bringing in new members into the Club.
- Financial Stability – the Club is owned by the members and is a not-for-profit organisation. However, a strong financial foundation is maintained through revenue generating activities to enable the payment of future expenditures such as the replacement of court surfaces and fencing.
- Maintain our core values and beliefs – this is a Club that has great traditions and an active membership who love their tennis. It is run like a family club, with total transparency and with the member’s interests at the centre of everything we do.
Northbridge Tennis Club is a club with great traditions of camaraderie and a love of tennis. The three courts are in constant use by the members and the local community which has always been the case during the Clubs history.
There are a number of regular events that take place every year and long may they do so. They include:
- Club Championships – an annual event where the Ordinary and Associate members of NTC compete for the various singles and doubles titles, including the Open Singles & Doubles, Veterans Singles & Doubles, Grand Master Singles, and the Handicap Singles & Doubles. The tournament normally runs from late May and culminates in early September with Finals Day, which is a great social event for players and spectators alike.
- Club Tennis – Wednesday and Saturday afternoons are dedicated to club tennis for members only. Outside of that time, the courts are used by individual members, the court hirers (permanent and casual) and for coaching, which has been an integral part of the Club for many years. From time to time the Club holds a round robin Doubles Ladder Competition to encourage the improvement of the players.
- Coaching – The Club has had a resident coach for many years offering their services to the local schools, the local community and to the members. Our current coach, John Coverley, has been with us for over thirteen years. He has recently introduced Tennis Australia’s Hot Shots Program to encourage the local kids to take up tennis and participate in a healthy lifestyle.
- Other Tennis Clubs – competitions are played annually or periodically against other intrastate and local tennis clubs.
- Tennis Seniors (over 35’s) – Club members actively participate as individuals and teams in support of Tennis Senior events within NSW, Australia and international ITF competitions.
- NSTA Competition Teams – NTC has actively supported the NSTA competitions since it started, and previously has had NTC members on the NSTA Board of Directors. This is a key aspect of the Club as we offer both social and competitive tennis to our members.
- Annual Dinner – For many years the Club has had an Annual Dinner to celebrate the year and enjoy the company of the other members. We always invite a guest speaker to the event. In 2011, it was Steve Healy, the current President of Tennis Australia and a local Northbridge resident. In 2012, the guest speaker was Bob Giltinan, former Australian David Cup player and tennis legend. In 2013 it was Kim Warwick, tennis legend. In 2014 it was Prof. Colin Tatz, AO and in 2015 it was former Club member Neil Harvey, a cricket immortal. In 2017 Iain Suthers, a prominent Marine Biologist at UNI NSW, as well as guiding research at The Sydney Institute of Marine Science [SIMS] at Chowder Bay, and Chief Scientist aboard Australia’s newest ocean-going research vessel RV ‘Investigator’.
- Annual General Meeting (AGM) – This is held annually in early December where the Annual Report (comprising of the President’s and Treasurer’s reports) is presented to the members and the Election of Officers takes place. This is always followed by the NTC Xmas Party when friends join us to celebrate the Xmas festivities.
- NTC Website – In 2011 we introduced the NTC Website to the members. The primary purpose is to enable the wider community to see what is happening at NTC and to encourage them to get involved. We see this as an important step in increasing the profile of the Club and providing an opportunity to partner with local companies in terms of promotion and sponsorship. It can be accessed at www.northbridgetennis.com.au.