Whether you’re a keen gardener, a handy person or just community orientated Tennis Bundaberg is looking for volunteers to join the new Friends of Drinan.
Tennis Bundaberg president Geoff Strube said the clay tennis courts at Bundaberg West are one of only three in Queensland and they held historical significance to the Bundaberg Region.
Geoff said some of Australia’s best players, including Rod Laver, had competed on the Drinan Park tennis courts, and Tennis Queensland also plays its King and Queen of Clay Tournament on the local court.
“The courts have been around since the 1930s, and the actual facility since the 1950s, so it’s historic as far as Bundaberg is concerned,” Geoff said.
“We are now looking to form Friends of Drinan to help keep that history alive.
“We are after people who are keen gardeners, anyone who is interested in court preparation as when these courts are well prepared, they come up very well.
“As a matter of fact, in yesteryear even the top players would come here before the French Open as it was regarded as one of the better courts – Rod Laver would have played here and I’ve heard of some of the others who played here as well – some of the best.
“What we are doing is trying to maintain a resource for the town of Bundaberg because if we don’t it will go to wreck and ruin.”
Vintage tennis at Drinan Park
He said at Drinan Park Tennis they still used chalk to mark up the courts as their goal was to keep it as authentic as possible to the original days of tennis.
“We are one of the only clubs in the whole of Australia that still goes old fashion, so this is vintage tennis,” Geoff said.
“This is how tennis started in Australia, on courts like this.
“These mimic the original ant bed courts, and they just need some gentle love and care.
“It is something that is rare, and I think it is something that Bundaberg should try to maintain.”
Friends of Drinan would preserve the history of the clay tennis courts, with Geoff saying the volunteers didn’t even need to be tennis lovers, but rather proud members of the community.
“We are even looking for a historian to map our history,” he said.
“So, we are really looking for a variety of people to contact us to help keep this wonderful facility keep going for Bundaberg.”
For more information about Friends of Drinan check out Tennis Bundaberg’s Facebook page, or phone Geoff on 0467 647 452.