Causing a racquet

Allen Robinson. Photo: Sharnae Hope

Allen Robinson remembers travelling to the old tennis courts with his trusty wooden racket and his family in tow, often spending more time at the club than at home.

Today the Mount Maunganui Tennis Club will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, where members like club patron Allen will come together to tell great stories of their time on the courts.

Allen says when he first moved to the Mount, the tennis courts didn't even exist.

In the 1950s the club, originally situated under the Mount, was moved to Blake Park to make space for the current campground.

Blake Park, which used to be a rubbish dump, was mostly covered in lupins and pine trees amongst rough terrain.

But in the late 50s the club went into recess, with their only main event being the annual tournament at Christmas.

Due to there being no official club by that stage, the council decided to disband the club and dig up the courts.

Allen says old and new members, like himself, weren't happy with this outcome, and took it upon themselves to re-establish the club in the 1960s.

“We were using the space already to play tennis, so we felt that it was about time it was made into an official community facility,” says Allen.

Laura Magee and Winner Courtney in 1935.

This forced the council to find land and build new courts at Blake Park at the same time the sports' stadium was being built.

“Once we moved, and we had nothing, we had to work our butts off to make it into something.

“We started off with four courts and the old Chook House, which was the clubhouse that was moved from the old courts.

“The club has meant everything to me, the friendship and the people I've met over the years has been incredible,” he says, “It will be great to see some old faces.”

The anniversary celebration will be held today from 3-6pm at the Mount Maunganui Tennis Club on Maunganui Road.


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