Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tracing the 100 Year history of the Pakuranga Tennis Club

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A new book tells the story of Pakuranga Tennis Club’s 100-year history.

Pakuranga Tennis Club has just completed a publication tracing its 100 Year history from 1922 – 2022 which is due to be printed this month.

The book will feature 70 bound pages, extensive black and white and full colour illustrations and eight chapters plus four appendices.

Every section and aspect of the club’s activities is covered, from juniors to veterans, championships and tournaments, interclub achievements, social play and other activities.

“Our club has a fascinating history and it was a great journey researching club records and beyond to produce this publication” said author, Laraine Mills.

“Stand-out milestones such as an application for permission to play on Sundays, an initial restriction of juveniles and funding a fence to keep the neighbouring cows out reflected the times and illustrates the point,” she said

Pakuranga Tennis got off to a promising start following a public meeting on April 13, 1921 called (according to the hand-written minutes reproduced in the book) to forming a tennis court in the district. Two asphalt courts were actually formed and by 1948 club membership had steadily grown to 51.

Hard times were to follow however with restrictions relating to the Second World War, a polio epidemic, fluctuating membership and inability to attend to essential maintenance. Despite support from the Domain Road Board (predecessor of the Manukau City Council), falling membership and lack of participation in local competitions and the club’s own championships caused the club to go into recession in the 1955/56 season.

Determined efforts by a small group of members resulted in a transformation of the club.

Over the next 20 years, an additional court was formed, the clubhouse was extended and a car park formed. Membership increased dramatically (reported as 155 at the 1973/74 AGM) and success in local competitions followed. At one stage, membership was actually suspended due to the popularity of existing facilities.

The 1980s saw the greatest advance in the club’s fortunes. With support from the Manukau City Council’s ‘Share Responsibility Scheme, three new courts were laid, a new two-level clubhouse was built, synthetic grass was laid on three of the six courts and night lighting installed.

Success on the court followed with many interclub teams winning their sections, the stand-out achievement being promotion of the Caro Bowl Reserve team to Auckland’s top interclub grade, the Caro Bowl, in 1995.

Junior tennis has always been a success story at Pakuranga with strong numbers participating in regular play, coaching and interclub competition. Individual players have performed well in regional competitions with some achieving national junior rankings. Tennis Auckland awarded the club ‘Junior Club of the Year’ in 2002.

The club celebrated its 100-year history this year with the Tennis Auckland Award of 2021 Club of the Year.

Copies of ‘….to form a tennis court’ will be available at $25 per copy and can be pre-ordered now from the Pakuranga Tennis Club Secretary

Orders will be acknowledged confirming availability and payment details.

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