From crisis to opportunity

Alex Maffescioni serving in the last rubber of the day. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Dongyun Kwon

Yarra Glen Tennis Club (YGTC) was crowded with about 40 spectators from the local community on Saturday 22 June.

YGTC hosted Pennant Picnic, inviting two tennis clubs in Victoria, West Brunswick who were against Yarra Glen’s men’s team and East Malvern who were against Yarra Glen’s women’s team.

Pennant Picnic organiser Jarron Morris, who is also a coach and a committee member of YGTC, said the event was to engage with the community along with exposing the club members to high-level tennis.

“For a long time, there hasn’t been high-level tennis at the club,” he said.

“We invited all the wider community members to view the day and watch the tennis.”

YGTC men’s team dramatically defeated West Brunswick, the top dog of the 2024 Tennis Victoria Men’s Pennant Grade 11 Section 2.

Yarra Glen’s No. 3 Alex Maffescioni was trailing 6-4 in the singles but managed to shift the momentum and win the next four games in a row to secure the win with the support of the home crowd.

Unfortunately, YGTC women’s team lost to East Malvern after a tight match.

The club went through huge adversity when the membership plummeted below 25 with the committee leaving entirely in 2016.

Morrison joined the club in the middle of the adversity in 2017 and said the club now has about 170 members.

“When I joined the club, there was only one junior team and the team that I’m playing in now, which is the Grade 11 team, is made up of the junior players that I started coaching in 2017,” he said.

“So, it’s been like a seven-year journey for us to get to this stage.

“To have the event on the weekend and have double the amount of people in attendance just for this event than the number of the members we had in 2016 is an incredible turnaround for us as a club, which signals a fantastic new beginning.”