In 1996 8 tennis clubs with a history of more than 100 years got together to form the Association of Centenary Tennis Clubs (CTC).
The founder clubs were all European but there has been a steady growth in number and geographical location of member clubs. About 18 months ago, we were invited to get together with 5 other British clubs – The Cumberland, Queens’, Roehampton, Edgbaston Priory from England and Fitzwilliam + Carrickmines from Ireland, to activate the involvement of British Centenary clubs.
The inaugural event held on September 3rd 2011, was a 6 way tournament hosted by Roehampton club. Each of the clubs sent a 14 member team comprising a pair of 1st team men and women, a pair of 45+ men and 40+women, a pair of 50+ women and 2 pairs of 55+ men. Our team was made up of:
Men: Tim Weir + Alex Ross, Julian Godfrey + Paul England, Mike Evans + Piers Cross, Mark Finlayson + Peter Friedmann
Women: Lauren Cockbill + Rachel Whiteside, Liz Davies + Monica Finlayson, Nicki Evans + Bridget Friedmann.
Everyone played one set against their opposite numbers from each of the other clubs with finals played by the top two pairs in the 1st team groups.
Winchester players kept our end up very creditably – Liz Davies and Monica winning the ladies 40+ group, Julian and Paul coming second in the mens 45+ and Mark Fin and Peter Friedmann coming joint second in the 55+ “second” category.
In the evening there was a dinner and dance, and the occasion was marked by the presence of Juan Maria Tintore, President of the Association of CTC who presented prizes and symbols of membership (Tie with logo) to our tennis chairman Phil Baker. This event should put us in contact with the International CTC scene and we will try to set up international interaction and tournaments. This was a noel type of involvement for many of our players and hopefully there will be competition to get into the team for the next one.
Report by Peter Friedmann