Tennis Geelong ‘ready’ for summer

Local tennis players are keen to get out the door and onto the court after lockdown.

By Luke Voogt

Tennis Geelong has vowed to “be ready” for the summer season a day after Victoria is scheduled to reach 80 per cent vaccination against COVID-19.

After much review and discussion, Tennis Geelong has scheduled the junior and senior 2021-22 summer seasons to begin on Saturday, November 6, according to president Donna Schoenmaekers.

“We’ll be ready,” she said.

The season will run a normal 17 weeks culminating in grand finals on April 9, 2022.

Tennis Geelong plans to complete eight rounds before Christmas finishing on December 19, and resume play on January 29 after the break.

“The balance of the season will run through to April 9, with no play on the Labour Day long weekend,” Schoenmaekers said.

Victoria is forecast to reach 80 per cent double doses – the threshold for community sport to resume under state government’s reopening roadmap – by November 5.

If Victoria fails to reach the milestone by this date, Tennis Geelong will rule round 1 a draw and play will start in round 2 instead.

“It is a relief to have some degree of certainty about when competition can start, and some assurance that once we start, we shouldn’t have the interruptions we have seen over this winter and [in other seasons during the pandemic],” Schoenmaekers said.

“What we don’t know at the moment is what requirements will be in place for players, clubs and the association to comply with state government regulations.

“We have had restrictions and compliance requirements in the past 12 months and the players and clubs have done well to abide by these so we could continue to operate, so I’m sure we will see this again.”

Junior and senior team numbers are back to pre-COVID levels, according to Schoenmaekers.

“Clearly people are keen to return to the courts,” she said.

The spring 1 triples season was scheduled to start on September 2, but lockdowns forced Tennis Geelong to abandon the competition.

“The upcoming spring 2 season was originally planned for a November 4 start, so this may still be in question,” Schoenmaekers said.

“Teams will be graded into six sections for a five-week home-and-away season and two weeks of finals.

“If play is not possible on November 4, the season will be pushed back a week and the finals reduced to one week, in either instance finishing December 16.”

Tennis Geelong has cancelled its current winter Tuesday Midweek competition, with only four rounds played so far.

“The committee, however, will be in contact with the club reps to see if there is interest to play up to three rounds once we are able, to get the ladies back on court and create some enthusiasm for the summer season,” Schoenmaekers said.

“In the interim, everyone will be able to get back to coaching and training in preparation for the new seasons.”