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Bundanoon Tennis Club
The Erith Street Site
This site was originally owned by Walter Grice. In the 1940s, the Wingecarribee Shire Council bought the land from his descendants for the purpose of building a sports ground. Planning to build tennis courts at this site probably commenced in 1946.
History of Lawn Tennis
Many historians believe that tennis originated in the 12th century in the monastic cloisters in Northern France. The ball was struck with the palm of the hand and the game was called jeu de paume(“game of the palm”). In the 16th century rackets came into use, and the game began to be called “tennis”.
Lawn tennis was established in the UK throughout 1874 thanks to the marketing genius of Major Walter Wingfield, who created the first boxed sets of portable lawn tennis equipment with rules for play on an hourglass shaped court.
His brand name for this new game was “Sphairistike”
In 1875, the All-England Croquet Club constructed tennis courts, devised a different scoring system, and included the rectangular court shape and 3′ net heights and adopted the more logical name of “lawn tennis”. This was the base on which Wimbledon and tennis globally would develop to this day.
Social Tennis in Bundanoon
As Bundanoon grew, tennis became popular with many private homes having their own courts. A Goulburn Herald correspondent reported in 1894 that “a new tennis-court is also being prepared, so that our friends and visitors may find enjoyment.”
Numerous tennis clubs were formed and in 1904 it was reported that the Fernfield Tennis Club started to play on their new court. Mr Grice had gone to great expense in making it up to date.
The Scrutineer and Berrima District Press of 12.7.1922 in reporting on the formation of the “Black Cat” tennis club, told readers that there were four or five tennis clubs in Bundanoon and that the new club proposed to offer a shield for inter-club competition.
A group known as the Kia-Ora Tennis Club operated before WWII and the Moss Vale Post reported that they held an annual ball on 12 February 1937.
By the 1920s almost every guest house had one or two courts as an attraction for their guests. The majority of these have now disappeared.
The first record of public tennis courts in Bundanoon appeared in 1922 when the Black Cat Tennis Club applied to the Trustees of the Bundanoon Reserve for permission to build three new tennis courts in Memorial Park, which was located at the intersection of Old Wingello Road and Ferndale Road. In 1923 it was reported that “A large tennis court is almost complete and will be ready for play when the season opens.”
The Bundanoon Tennis Club
It is a reasonable assumption that the Black Cat Tennis Club was the progenitor of the Bundanoon Tennis Club.
The Scrutineer of 2 May 1923 reported “BUNDANOON. THE BUNDANOON TENNIS CLUB. The tennis club at Bundanoon is a flourishing initiative. Although it is only a few months since the club was started it has worked wonders. The members have thrown a great deal of energy into the movement. Starting as the virgin piece of land, which forms the eastern extension of the Recreation Reserve, they have already prepared two courts, which are in decent working order, and fully equipped.
Although a Bundanoon Tennis Club had been formed, there was no clubhouse or tennis centre and the action drifted from one venue to another as courts were built throughout the district.
During the 1950s the Bundanoon Tennis Club committee approached Wingecarribee Shire Council with a request for courts to be built in the Bundanoon township. The request was granted, and two ant-bed (rammed earth) courts were constructed on the site of what is now the Bundanoon Sporting Complex in Erith St, together with a small brick clubhouse (now used as a storage shed). A third court was added in the late 1960s with finance and materials provided by the Bundanoon Tennis Club and labour by the enthusiastic club members.
The courts have been refurbished and resurfaced regularly over the years. In 2011 a major upgrade to all three courts was undertaken by converting all to synthetic grass. The current clubhouse was constructed in 1983 and opened by the Shire President, Councillor G. Larsen.
In 2022, the Bundanoon Tennis Club consists of 3 synthetic grass courts, a clubhouse and a coaching shed. Several groups meet throughout the week for social tennis.
The Bundanoon Tennis Club is affiliated with Tennis NSW