26th May, 2021 — Good Sports

Belvedere Park Tennis Club’s path to joining Good Sports

Belvedere Park Tennis Club’s Treasurer Fiona Martin’s relationship with tennis and her chosen club is a journey, and a story worth telling (pictured above donning a purple wig during one of her LGBTIQ-friendly club’s many fundraisers). 

Tennis was always a family affair. “Mum played tennis, I’ve played since I was about 10.” For Fiona’s family, tennis was always a “social thing”, playing tennis in the afternoon, “then club players came back to ours for fish and chips.”

Fiona, now 56, says tennis has been a 46year love affair. “I’m the Treasurer at the club. I have a background in banking, which comes in handy. I’ve been doing it about 15 years.” 

But to say that Fiona’s role at Belvedere begins and ends there suggests one is unfamiliar with the traditions and realities of tennis club life.  “I also look after juniors, court maintenance, court hire, functions and events – I’m the go-to-girl at Belvedere.” 

Fiona tells us the story of her club, and how everything changed though a chance encounter with Good Sports.

A tennis club four decades old is young by local standards

Started in 1975, one of the younger clubs in the area, Belvedere is a small, close-knit club by Australian standards with just 50 members. “Like all Aussie tennis clubs, we were huge in the 80s!” Fiona admits. “But as was the case with most, we’ve downsized a tad since then”. 

Fiona’s been at Belvedere for nearly 20 years. “I love the people I play with; I love socialising with the girls and going head-to-head during the week. It’s right near my house, my kids were doing tennis lessons at the local high school next door, so it was perfect”. 

Belvedere is one of about 30 clubs in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. But Fiona declares “it’s the one for me. It’s your typical Aussie tennis club. Fundraising. Always looking for new members. I’m always happy to give my time for Belvedere.”

Many little reasons to join Good Sports, and one big one

“We joined Good Sports because I said so”, Fiona chuckles. But truth be told, how Belvedere Park Tennis Club came upon Good Sports was purely by accident.“Frankston City Council ran a seminar about how clubs can apply for grants. We went to the seminar and found Good Sports.”

Fiona recalls how she met Rod, who is now her club’s Good Sports representative. “He told us all about Good Sports, and we chatted after the presentation. The presentation struck a chord.” 

Fiona’s club arrived at the seminar in a bit of a pickle. Their club’s licensee had recently parted ways with the club, and they didn’t quite know what to do. They had also been wanting to change the structure of their club administration into a committee. A big reason was “so we could take action on Alcohol Management at the club. The licensee had left, we had to do something!” Fiona says, “Rod told us everything we weren’t clear on and helped us on our way.”

Getting the ball rolling on local sporting club grants

Fiona says the Good Sports experience has been fantastic so far. “You know what’s going on, Rod always makes things straightforward. The information Rod provides is invaluable.” 

Fiona says her club is proud of their Good Sports accreditation and getting it was as easy as 1, 2, 3. “We were a Good Sports club in the first four weeks. We contacted Rod straight after the seminar, met with the committee, Rod presented, it was all we needed to get the ball rolling. We see the value of Good Sports. It’s a stepping stone.” 

Fiona’s advice for clubs working towards their accreditation would be to “get your committee involved and on board from day one, so you do everything properly and as a team.” 

For Fiona, the value of Good Sports comes down to one simple principle. Knowledge is power. “Don’t presume what you’ve got in place at your club is what’s required, even if it’s been place for years, especially if you’ve had it place for years! Things and times change and it’s important to stay on top of it”. 

Fiona admits that as a newer Good Sports Club, Belvedere is just starting to explore all the resources Good Sports has to offer, “and I’m planning to do that pretty much straight away. Joining was so easy”, Fiona says. “It’s hard work running a club, giving all your time, but it’s worth it. There are plans the Good Sports program has that are perfect for our club and we’ll be putting in place right quick.”

Belvedere Park Tennis Club is so much more than just a sports club

For Fiona, there are no words to describe what Belvedere means to her. “In my life, it’s been so important. Belvedere was there when my husband got sick, and are my family. He’s been gone for three years, and they’re still here for me. Supporting me the whole way.”

Fiona passionately declares when you’re a Belvedere member, you know there’s people who’ve always got your back. “You’re not on your own. And with Good Sports, it’s the same thing. You’ve got a partner to help out so you can be the respected community hub you deserve to be known as. They’re on your side and by your side.”

Fiona says that’s one of many reasons why she recommends Good Sports. “Good Sports was recommended to us by a local club, so I’m glad to do the same.”

Fiona says Good Sports has been a partnership that’s already strong and will continue to grow. “It’s a whole new pathway forward to growing our club.” 

And Belvedere’s expansion is already evident and truly exciting for its long-time members. “We’ve got junior teams for the first time in four years! But we need new uniforms for them so grants could come in handy. But first things first – we need new lights”, Fiona laughs.

With Good Sports to help them along the way, Fiona believes it’s not the prospect of new court lights that are making Belvedere Park Tennis Club’s future look bright. It’s the possibilities of where Good Sports can help the club go next. 

You can find out more about Belvedere Park Tennis Club by following them on Facebook!

on the Good Sports club portal.

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