State of the BTC – From the desk of the President

Hello BTC member,


The President of the USA delivers his annual State of the Union address on Tuesday this week where he updates the peeps about what is going on and what is going to go on.  It’s a pretty tough assignment for him, however it did prompt me to let all BTC members know what your Committee and pro have been up to, and what’s up next.

January has seen a highly successful Lalor Cup run with 50% more players this year and a very healthy turn up of entrants from the UK, Ireland and The Netherlands, as well as Melbourne and our local players.  Eventually it was an all-Ballarat final with Chris Alizzi and Andrew Rowan who triumphed over David Hay and Greg Reid.  The social side was a triumph, led by Annie Strange, queen of the catering, and we also enjoyed refreshing our social relationship with The Ballarat Club, the venue of a very enjoyable Lalor Cup BBQ and night out from our Club environs.

It was great to see the game and the club featuring on teev, channels 9 and 10 news, with a large colour piece in The Courier all about the Lalor Cup, BTC and real tennis.  We had radio, too.

BTC was also prominent in Melbourne’s Boomerang, too, with both the Rats and the Nuggets teams reaching the quarterfinals and numerous pairs advancing to the sharp end of the handicap doubles.

The Boomerang also presented BTC with visiting squads of players from other clubs which we welcome with open arms in our quieter moments of the year in January.  Players from many international (and Hobart: it is over the water) clubs visited us and we look forward to encouraging more of the same more formally in the future.   You may have seen glimpses of players on the active BTC FB page.

For the first time since 1992, BTC hosted a team match against the venerable Manchester Tennis and Rackets Club.  They are as sociable as us and a great time was had by all.  It should be recorded that we lost the battle but as they say in the clique book down the ages: “tennis was the winner” and there were no losers this day.  We thank the Mancunians for making the trip with leader Jamie Bebb and Club Pres Jamie Lawton in fine form.

The Golden Thong event for singles and doubles was held on the Australia Day weekend.  It was another first for BTC and we hope it remains a great part of our calendar matched with a good ol’ fashioned BBQ and a whimsical trophy courtesy of Bruce Christie.

The “present” ushers in Pennant (starting this week) and once again we have a strong turnout for singles and doubles, A and B sections.  Good luck to all involved.  This is the backbone of the Club and we will conjure up some fine prizes for the winners in 2020.

Also, new this year, is the three cornered tournament between The Jesters, BTC and The Wanderers on the 23rd Feb.   Let Andrew know if you wish to have a crack at the homeless, that is, The Jesters and The Wanderers!

And to round out February, it is a Leap Year.  I personally am keeping my head low, but BTC will have a tournament for social play and some social play afterwards.   Make it a date whatever your marital status.  More details to follow from Andrew.

On the matter of more details to follow, we have three main themes this year.  Sustainability, more juniors on court and more ladies playing tennis than ever before.

We will release details about all three soon, but plans are afoot for more junior play already.

And on that note regarding juniors, BTC Directors and Wayne Spring are pleased to announce the SpringBoard Award for 2020 is made to Alex Strange.  You may recall that each year Wayne and the Board of Directors select a junior player to be the recipient of lessons to improve their game.  Alex has been featuring in pennant last year and showed great promise in the Lalor Cup recently.  We hope he slashes his handicap down quite a few points this year with technical guidance from Andrew.

The economy is always important in any review of The State of the Union.  After a patch of less than satisfactory performance the economy of our Club showed a marked improvement in the second half of last year.

On the back of this result your Management Committee recently resolved to maintain the current levels of club membership fees, court costs and coaching prices for 2020.   So no change there: steady as she goes.

Members still receive in-club free wifi, tea and coffee, towels not always available on these terms in other clubs near and far.  We also offer to members, as a benefit, probably the least cost pricing for Grays rackets available anywhere in the world.  We realise that rackets are a substantial cost item but we do our best to make them more affordable than anywhere else.

On top of that the Committee resolved to review the bar prices and find a new balance between member benefit and club sustainability.

The new bar prices from the 3rd February until further notice are as follows:

Cat Shiraz                                                                     $25

Serafino Shiraz                                                              $35

Bests Reds                                                                    $32

Red Hill Whites                                                             $25

Bests Whites                                                                 $30

Blue Pyranees Rose                                                       $30

Chandon  Sparkling                                                       $36

Yellowglen piccolo                                                        $6

Bulmers Cider                                                               $7

Gordons G &T                                                               $8

VB                                                                                $5.50

Corona                                                                         $6

Boags                                                                           $6

Cascade Light                                                                $5.50

Asahi                                                                            $6

Mineral Water Large                                                     $5

Mineral Water small/Deep Spring                                  $3

Water small                                                                  $3

Coke (all)                                                                      $3.50

Powerade                                                                     $5

Those keen of eye will see a price reduction pretty much across the board, and starting this month, there will be discounting of selected lines from time to time.   Look out for those and enjoy: easy on the palate as well as the pocket.

Your Management Committee in 2020 is Andrew Rowan, Cathy Faull, Andrew Fowler and Tim Lamont and me.   We thank Annie Strange the outgoing Pres for all her hard work and success she has brought to the Club.  We are joined in support of Andrew F and me by Maria Louro Murphy who is assisting in the mechanics of admin.

Behind the scenes we are seeking to appoint various subcommittees: so the element and virtue of volunteerism is alive and well in your Club.

Greg Reid and I continue to represent your interests at ARTA which impacts mainly on members through handicapping and booking on RTO.  There are other issues abounding at ARTA and we all live in hope that they may be resolved to the benefit of all members inside and out of BTC in 2020.

Andrew Rowan advises that today – when I am writing this to you –  02022020 is a sort of numerical palindrome, reading the same forwards as backwards.  (He also says it is a one in a millennium occurrence so make the most of it!).

It seemed appropriate to take the quick look back and forwards about the inner workings of BTC.  So there you have it.  If you have any queries and or comments please let your committee know.

We’re commencing the (Chinese) New Year of the Rat.  It seems an omen for us to have a great 2020.  Let’s hope it is a healthy, safe, prosperous and enjoyable one for everyone at BTC, your Club.


Rob Jolly

President BTC 2020

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