Back in February 2012 a small group of tennis enthusiasts gathered to consider the future of tennis in Omokoroa. A steering group was set up and thus began the long process of submissions, which led to the formation of the Omokoroa Community Tennis Club, with the aim of developing four tennis courts at the Western Avenue Sports and Recreation Ground.
From the beginning, the local community has expressed their support. Signatures and letters of support were received from individuals, families and many local businesses. Following the setting up of the club and initial membership approaching 100, the Western Bay of Plenty District Council then financed and managed the building of the basic courts, in February to June 2015. This was fully supported by the Omokoroa Community Board, who also lobbied on our behalf as did local council members.
The build project itself was notable because of the significant input of local businesses and volunteers. The following individuals and companies gave of their services for free:
Warren Goldstone (TreeworX)
Trevor Kewish (Heavy Machinery)
Omokoroa Transport (Truck & Transport)
Joe Goodyer and Trevor King (Wood Splitting and disposal)
Barry Farr (Technical Designs and Drawing)
OCTC Members (Planting of tennis court surrounds)
Brian Goldstone (Landscaping)
Brian Mackie (Truck & Transport)
Thomas Beaton (Omokoroa Hire Centre)
Murray Bell (Lights and security installation)
Stephen Roach (Letterrip signage)
Seeing council staff, local contractors and tennis club volunteers all working together on this project so epitomised the ‘community’ at work. The workers also appreciated the refreshments provided by club members. The quality and quantity of this voluntary work is noteworthy, but the cooperation, coordination and communication with council staff, particularly Scott Parker (Project Manager) has resulted in a facility that everyone involved and Omokoroa at large can be truly proud of.
The completion of the first two courts (artificial surface and LED lighting) would not have been possible without the donation awarded by TECT. The Omokoroa Centre (run by community volunteers) also made a financial contribution, as did some private individuals. Countdown contributed seating and retaining materials. Special thanks also to Bay Turf, who have carried out much of the court construction. OCTC was awarded the Trustpower Community Award 2015 Regional Commendation (Sports and Leisure) in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the Western Bay of Plenty District community.
[Original steering group: Joe and Lyn Goodyer, Murray and Sue Bigham, Gail Broomhall, Bob and Judy Sampson, Carol and Steve Wall]
Club Activity 2015/16
During this period OCTC started out on the long process of growing a successful club. This has seen:
● membership grow to 112 (30 adults, 33 seniors, 46 juniors, 3 non-playing).
● Monday/Thursday (09.00 – 12.00) sessions attendance 8-14, Saturday (14.00 – 17.00) sessions attendance 10-18, Tuesday (17.00 – 20.00) evening sessions attendance 4-10.
● private groups meet and play, as and when they organise, each week.
● public bookings have been made via the shop or club telephone number.
Developing a thriving club of the future requires the nurturing of the junior members.
● Jackson Currie (Tauranga) was secured as coach.
● 13 three hour sessions of coaching have been delivered, to 30 students have been involved.
● Thursday (16.00-18.00) junior session attendance 4-8.
To further encourage the younger members Mr Ron Harding (Bayturf) has provided annual awards, total value of $400 to junior players, who in the opinion of the committee, has shown significant progress, commitment and application.
For adults we had:
● a club doubles tournament (12 players).
● two social event with Katikati Tennis Club (16 players).
● two open days, when members of the community can come and play tennis.
Club Activity 2016/17
During this period OCTC continued to develop. This has seen:
● a stable membership base.
● continuing club sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
● first involvement in competitive tennis through a mixed doubles Friday evening league.
● club competition ladders and club championships May 2017.
● club open sessions to the public (4).
Junior tennis continued to grow as we delivered:
● 16 three hour sessions of coaching by Jackson Currie.
● 26 students involved (10 in their second year).
● Tuesday pm session booked for junior practice.
● continued support by Mr Ron Harding (Bayturf).
● two morning sessions to the students at Omokoroa Point School.
Club Activity 2017/18
OCTC made a number of key decisions, joining Tennis Western Bay of Plenty; $15 increase in membership fees to cover this; result is a smaller membership (80). Involvement in competitive tennis through entry of a team in Wednesday night business house league, mixed team in a league and Friday night mixed team. Singles ‘League of Five competition run over a period of five weeks, involving players from OCTC and Te Puna Tennis Club. 25 players involved men, women and some junior boys. To be repeated three times throughout the season.
Junior tennis has:
● delivered 14 three hour sessions of coaching by Jackson Currie during October 2017-March 2018.
● 24 students involved (16 in their second year or more of coaching).
Development of Courts 3/4:
Western Bay of Plenty District Council agree to install courts 3/4 at Omokoroa Sports and Recreation Reserve at Western Avenue, Omokoroa. Club secured funding for the top surface and lights. Thanks to Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust and New Zealand Community Trust.
Work began in May 2017. Expected completion date November 2017.
● Unfortunately weather over this period resulted in a considerable delay and completion was now June 2018.
Since completion of the new courts, Club activities have seen:
● Membership grown to 110+ active members.
● Regular attendance at Saturday sessions exceed 16 players and the courts are fully used.
● Tuesday evening attendance has now grown to 12-16 players using the courts.
● League of Five has continued to grow and become more competitive.
● Mens Team playing Inter Club on Friday evenings.
● Next year will see a Mixed team entered and also a Junior Inter Club team.
● Successful series of Monday evening competitive tennis for beginners/new members sponsored by Rachel Millard-Tall Poppies.
Junior tennis has:
● Delivered introductory tennis session to all Omokoroa Point School students (September 2018).
● Sponsorship of Junior Coaching programme by Freshchoice (Omokoroa) has enabled us to reduce the cost of coaching and membership to $50 for the 2018/19 season.
● Over 40 students taking part in the coaching programme starting October 20th 2018.