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Toolibin community kept alive by historic tennis club

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Toolibin Tennis Club is virtually all that’s left of the city that after was.

Founded in 1924 with 46 members, the club grew with the city round it and earlier than lengthy, new courts had been wanted to maintain up with rising demand.

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By 1953, the little club 45km east of Narrogin, which began with two clay courts, had six.

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But within the second half of the twentieth century, households moved away from the world, buildings disappeared, and acquainted faces departed.

Now, the club is sort of all that’s holding the Toolibin community’s coronary heart beating.

Kyle Angwin has been enjoying on the club his entire life and has served as president for greater than two years.

“My father can remember there being at least 30 houses in town … no one really knows why it’s become a ghost town now,” he stated.

Toolibin Tennis Club.
Camera IconToolibin Tennis Club.

“From what I understand there was a general store and a school and I believe there was a wheat bin, but I’m not sure. There was a clay target club and a cricket club.

“The club has remained when others have folded.”

With the city slowly disappearing round it, staying on-court has not all the time been simple for a club that claims to be the oldest lively clay court docket tennis club in rural Australia.

Only a number of years in the past, the club was struggling for members.

“I can remember going to the 75th … anniversary because we weren’t going to get to 80 years,” Mr Angwin stated.

The club has since handed the 90-year mark and goes sturdy.

Angus Armstrong, Rhett Ballard and Kyle Angwin.
Camera IconAngus Armstrong, Rhett Ballard and Kyle Angwin. Credit: Pictures: Tom Shanahan

“We’ve certainly passed that with resilience and determination, and in the last five years the club has grown again,” he stated.

“Being the oldest and only remaining rural clay courts, we have a proud obligation to uphold and cherish the history.

“But it also gives our members the opportunity to come together as a community to check in with each other.” The courts are open each Sunday, with fixtures working from October-November and from February to the tip of March, with a break for harvest in between.

Fifty-two members attended the club’s March Singles Championship final 12 months, and the six courts have once more been getting good use.

Mr Angwin stated having a number of generations of members on the club was encouraging.

“Not everyone can get there every single week because they have various commitments, but it’s pretty exciting when you pull up and there are six courts playing already,” he stated.

“We generally have two courts going at the one time but certainly last year and the year before we’ve had weekends where we’ve had six courts going at the same time. I think most of the families that are involved are two generations that are actively playing there now.

“We’re certainly very passionate about it out here, we love it. We fight off flies to get down there, have a few beers, and play a set.”

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