The enduring popularity of tennis in east Auckland was well displayed recently with teams from six local tennis clubs competing in their annual local derby.
Bucklands Beach, Cockle Bay, Howick, Koru, Pakuranga and Sunnyhills Tennis Clubs participated, each hosting a section of the event.
Following a rotation each year, it was Howick Club responsible this time for being the primary organiser and the prizegiving.
With both an open grade competition for the Fisher Cup and a restricted one for the Cucksey Shield, the event covers a wide range of playing levels.
And with each trophy requiring a team of six men and six women to represent their clubs, more than 100 players were out in force.
Continuing a run of strong results in the Fisher Cup, Bucklands Beach TC once again secured it, while Pakuranga’s team won the Cucksey Shield.
But the real winner of the day was the sport of tennis.
Through the last two years of Covid restrictions, tennis has been widely recognised as a safe sport to play and it’s been possible for members to play at local clubs, with suitable safeguards, even in Level 3.
Getting out into the fresh air and playing with friends or family from the same bubble and later playing with other club members has been a godsend for many, providing mental and physical exercise and a change of scene.
Competitive tennis leagues were able to resume well before many team sports could. And being a sport that can be played from primary school age through to your 70s, even 80s, adds to its family-wide appeal.
All these local tennis clubs offer coaching and junior and senior programmes and welcome new members, with any level of experience.
While the main part of the tennis season is over the summer months, it’s a sport played at any time of year and all of the clubs will continue to be active over the winter months.
Next spring the junior version of this competition, the Charman Cup, will be played between the east Auckland tennis clubs, with players up to 15 years old, resuming this much-loved event which has run for more than 35 years.