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4 February 2015

Singles can find love by speed dating with a difference at Sets in the City at Tennis Valley

LOVE will not just be a score term at Tennis Valley on Valentine’s weekend.

Singles can meet potential partners at “speed dating with a difference” at the club’s first Sets in the City event. Unattached players, both members and non-members, will play doubles in the new Fast4 format recently showcased by Roger Federer and Leighton Hewitt in Sydney and Rafael Nadal and Mark Philippoussis in Melbourne. Pairs will play first to four (not six), with a tiebreaker at 3-3, no deuces and no lets, with players rotating all the time.

Club development officer Dave Keogh said the new concept was part of a plan to reinvigorate the club. "One of the main age ­categories we’re looking at is between 25 and 45," Keogh said. "These are people who played tennis when they were young, they’ve given it up for whatever reason and they’re looking to get back into it."

Keogh said there were ­already 16 people booked for the launch, with more registering for later events. “I think they’re keen because the sport is something they feel comfortable with,” he said. “It’s a way to meet people face-to-face without doing it online and in a comfortable environment.”

The event is open to people of all sexualities. The launch will be held on Sunday, February 15, from 2-5pm at Tennis Valley, 325 Eastern Valley Way, Chatswood. For $20 for non-members, or $10 for members, players will enjoy an afternoon of Fast4 tennis, a free glass of champagne and nibbles.

Sets in the City will continue to run every fortnight.

click here for more photos

30 June 2013

Celebrating Wimbledon, Tennis Valley Style

Tennis Valley held an Open Day to celebrate Wimbledon on Sunday June 30th – the first day the sun had made an appearance in Sydney for the best part of two weeks.

Some 40 players including members, friends and family participated and several non-members had such a good time they decided on the spot to join the club. The Tennis Valley clubhouse and surrounds were dressed in Wimbledon colours and the players wore all-white gear, with some even using wooden racquets! Apart from the obligatory BBQ, participants could also savour ‘Wimbledon-style’ treats including strawberries & cream and scones and jam, while adults could purchase refreshing PIMMs and champagne from the bar.

Club President Mike Hartnell presented prizes to the winners and runners-up on each of six courts and the rain stayed away all day, (starting up again only as players departed the car park!). Everyone had such a great time both on-court and off that the club’s Management Committee is promising an even bigger and better Open Day in September to coincide with the US Open.

20 September 2011

Tennis Valley named Men’s Badge Club of 2011 by Tennis Sydney

For five of the last six years, Tennis Valley has been recognised as the leading Ladies Badge Club in Sydney. This year, despite our Ladies 1.1 Team again annexing the top title, it was the Men’s turn to shine.

Tennis Valley entered six teams in the 2011 Men’s Badge Competition. All six made the semi-finals! Our 1.4 and 2.6 teams were Minor Premiers in their respective grades.

Of the semi-finalists, Tennis Valley contested the Final or Grand Final in Divisions 1.4, 1.5, 2.2 and 2.6. Both division 2 teams won the Comp. (with the 1.5 team falling just one tiebreaker short after beating the eventual winning team twice by big margins, including a 6-2 thrashing in the Final!)

Congratulations to all our men and in particular the winning teams:
Tennis Valley 4 (2.2) - Steve Ackling, Tim Barnes, Mark Bunn, Mark Harris, Mark Walden
Tennis Valley 5 (2.6) - Andrew Cougle, Mike O’Shea, Greg Spence, Daniel Stormon, Tony Vaccher

A special congratulations too, to those Tennis Valley team members who topped the averages across all clubs in their respective divisions:
Lucia Gonzalez - Tennis Valley 1 Ladies Grade 1 Section 1
Derrick van der Peet - Tennis Valley 3 Men’s Grade 1 Section 5
Tim Barnes - Tennis Valley 4 Men’s Grade 2 Section 2
Daniel Stormon - Tennis Valley 5 Men’s Grade 2 Section 6

30 August 2011

2011 Club Survey a HUGE success

In August, Tennis Valley conducted an extensive online survey, with invitations to participate sent to over 800 current and past members. (Click here to take a look at the survey)

The response was exceptional. 40% of current members and 30% of past members opened the e-mail within a day of sending. And after only a week ‘in market’, nearly 20% of those contacted had completed and submitted the survey... numbers that will generate sufficiently accurate data to professionally analyse and use the results to improve our offering to both members and the wider tennis community.

The complete analysis is currently being undertaken and summary results will be shared to all those invited to complete the survey. Some of the initial feedback makes for fascinating reading. For example, an amazing 50% of past members who responded said they'd be happy to consider re-joining the club if improvements are made. That would be a terrific boost to the vitality of our club.

And the number one reason why members like their club is that it really lives up to its tagline as “the friendly place to play”. That too is heartening confirmation of both the way we run our club and the way we will continue to market it. Sincere thanks to almost 150 current and past members who participated in our inaugural online survey… you have our word that we’re listening to what you had to say and will take it all into consideration as we continue to improve our great club.

31 July 2011

Tennis Valley hails new Ladies Champion

It was a small but quality field of players in this year’s Open Ladies Singles event of the Club Championships.

The semi-finals consisted of four of the very best players in the club – the Top Seed, Lucia Gonzalez (fresh from chalking up a 100% record in the just finished 1.1 Ladies Badge Comp. won again by Tennis Valley), defending Champion Rebecca Jones and two relative newcomers to the club, former Australian ranked junior Priscilla Parra and her Badge team mate, Megan Martin.

Both the semis. were quality matches, Megan stretching Lucy over two tough sets in one and Priscilla just failing to cause an upset in the other, going down to Rebecca 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in an absolute thriller. In the Final, the top seeded Lucy didn’t have it all her own way and had to call on her experience to take the title from the defiant teenager Rebecca in two wonderful sets, winning 6-2, 6-4. Congratulations to all the Ladies and to our new Singles Club Champion, Lucia Gonzalez.

In the Men’s draw, defending champion John Bruce had a tough semi-final against another former top junior and new club member, Cameron Freebairn. Cameron really stretched the top seed, who eventually won 7-5, 6-3. In the other semi., Laurent Lamaletie beat Scott Osborne 6-2, 6-2. John seemed to go to another level in the Final, dominating Laurent in a stunning performance to win 6-1, 6-0 and retain his title for another year.

While the top seeds justified their rankings in the singles events, it was a different story in the still to be completed Open Doubles events. In a major boilover in one of the Men’s Doubles semi-finals, 1.5 Badge pairing Derrick van der Peet and Justin Simmonds played the match of their lives to defeat the top seeds and reigning champions John Bruce and James Stormon in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6. This was a match of high intensity and great quality.

The other semi. is still to be completed, but should be another belter when Cameron Freebairn and Scott Osborne take on Laurent Lamaletie and Sherwin Lucas. The final could pit Badge team mates against each other in a State of Origin-like, ‘mate Vs mate’ scenario.

The Ladies Doubles will see top seeds Susan Roberts and Sue Deller take on either the experienced Elise Taylor and Carol Campling or emerging junior pair, Rebecca Jones and Elise’s daughter Natalie Klug.

One of the Mixed Doubles semi-finals saw yet another massive upset when perennial champions Elise Taylor and James Stormon were defeated in two titanic sets by Priscilla Parra and Scott Osborne, 7-6, 7-6. Priscilla and Scott will now play Ric Howard and Rebecca Jones in what should be another stunning Final.

14 year-old Daniel Stormon played a terrific match to take out the Division 2 Men’s Singles title, beating Badge team mate Andrew Cougle 7-6, 6-2. The result had been reversed in an early round of the Open event, with Daniel saving his best tennis for this Final. The two then partnered to take out the Div. 2 Men’s Doubles, beating the evergreen pairing of Don Walsh and Kit Meyers 6-2, 6-0.

Disappointingly, there weren’t enough entrants to hold the Div. 2 Ladies Singles and only just enough to run the doubles. In that event, Natalie Klug and Susan Jones defeated Anna Cosio and Renate Handel in three sets. Don and Joye Walsh took out the Div. 2 Mixed Doubles.

The Div. 3 Men’s singles was won by Hayato Suzuki when Daniel Wu unfortunately had to retire with the score at 6-4, 1-0 in Hayato’s favour. Daniel did not go home without a trophy however, teaming with Tommy Tsai to defeat Nick Klug and Aaron Jones in the Doubles.

17 June 2011

Young BritPop band a smash hit at Eastern Lounge!

Three great acts performed at Tennis Valley’s Eastern Lounge in June, but the undoubted crowd favourite on the night were the teenage sensations English Avenue. Some of these kids are still at school and others have just left (including brothers Harry and George Oliver who actually are English!).

The band played a tight live set full of original soulful melodies and infectious Indie BritPop sounds, seemingly way beyond their years. Harry’s lead vocal sounded eerily like that of the lead singer from The Kooks, Luke Pritchard. It was easy to see why English Avenue had soared as high as #6 on Triple J Unearthed’s pop charts.

But the highlight of the band’s set took everyone by surprise. Vocalist, drummer and bass player all left the stage and a nervous looking lead guitarist (Tim) stepped up to the mic. and announced that he was about to play an instrumental number he was doing for his HSC music exam! He then sat down and brilliantly played a John Butler original, note perfect, full of poise and precision. As he played the last chord, the audience launched to their feet and gave the gifted teenager a standing ovation – a first for Eastern Lounge.

Headline act Wet Zelko were the wonderful covers band promised, delighting the crowd with their banter almost as much as their playing. They had the whole audience on their feet and dancing right from the start and at other times left the stage (with radio mics. In place) and strolled through the room asking Lounge Lizards to sing a few bars of whatever song they were playing. Lots of fun.

Blues guitarist and songwriter G. Nunan opened the show and wowed even his fellow musos. with his Stevie Ray Vaughan influenced style. He mixed catchy riff-based Blues originals with well-known covers and won a whole new group of admirers in the process.

Another great night at Eastern Lounge with more to come!

13 May 2011

Genevieve Chadwick wows Eastern Lounge audience!

We’d heard Genevieve Chadwick was a special songwriter with a great voice… we’d heard she was a wonderfully warm performer who connected with her audience…what we didn’t know was what a great guitarist she is… this lady can play!

On Friday May 13, a near sell-out crowd filled Eastern Lounge and were quite simply blown away by a truly sensational rising star of Australian music. Genevieve played all the songs from her latest album – Riding the Wind Forgetting Time – and then humbly accepted two encores, the crowd just not wanting to let her go. If you closed your eyes you could seriously have been forgiven for thinking Janis Joplin had been reincarnated and was visiting Tennis Valley.

Songs such as Adrian and Memory Lane simply captivated Lounge Lizards who are already clamouring for a return performance from the South Coast songstress. If you missed this show, do yourself a favour and track down Genevieve Chadwick at another gig soon… just so you can say: “I saw her before she was famous!”

Supporting Genevieve were talented newcomers Kristen Adams and Andrew Harrisberg. Tall and stunningly beautiful, Kristen sang a diverse set of originals and covers ranging from pop to jazz (using the latter style for a great rendition of Everybody Wants to be a Cat from the Disney film – The Aristocats). Kristen then stunned the audience with her version of Radiohead’s Creep, during which her drummer and bass player stopped playing and enjoyed the performance as Kristen accompanied herself on ukulele.

Andrew was playing his first real gig but opened the show like a seasoned pro. His 35 minute set of original songs had the big crowd (many of which had come expressly to see Andrew play) cheering loudly from the outset. With model-looks and a great voice, Andrew Harrisberg is a name to watch… and you heard him first at Eastern Lounge!

7 May 2011

Annual Trivia Night assists Burmese orphans

On Saturday May 7, our gallant President, Mike Hartnell, once again organised the annual Tennis Valley Trivia Night, which over the years has raised thousands of dollars for many worthwhile causes.

This year, the organisation to benefit was the Phaung Daw Oo Orphanage in Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma). Mike chose this charity after a lengthy conversation with singer songwriter Rebecca Moore whom he met when she performed at Eastern Lounge.

Rebecca tours Australia raising funds for the orphanage, which looks after more than 7,000 children, most of who lost their parents when Cyclone Nargis made landfall on May 2, 2008, causing catastrophic destruction and at least 138,000 fatalities. It remains the worst natural disaster in the recorded history of Myanmar. The Orphanage also takes in children living on the street due mainly to abject poverty.

Rebecca treated the audience to three beautiful songs on the night, performed with all her usual poise, sensitivity and sense of story. As always, Mike and Meg posed questions that ranged from the thought provoking to the ridiculous… and three club members had to sing clues to their Team Members in the style of Spicks ‘n Specks. (Don Walsh’s version of Rock Around the Clock, sung to words from some obscure book had to be seen and heard, to be believed!)

Winners on the night were the table headed by Kit Meyers and Kerry Rymer and Kerry topped off a huge night by winning a brand new tennis racquet in the raffle – a great prize donated by new Chatswood specialty sports store, Top Serve Tennis. The event raised over $1,100 for the orphans. Congratulations Mike! You’ve done it again.

Tennis Valley’s Johnny Walker in action during the inaugural Australia China Friendship Tournament

Sandon Stolle serves it up on Tennis Valley’s Centre Court

Mayor Councillor Pat Reilly (with help from ‘Moonie’) presents trophies to Tournament Winners Anna Cosio and Sam Green

3 April 2011

Inaugural Australia China Friendship Tournament a Huge Success

On Sunday April 3, Tennis Valley hosted the Australia-China Friendship Society NSW (ACFS) and conducted a tournament that raised over $2,200 for Animals Asia Foundation.

The very first Australia China Friendship Tournament attracted some 60 entrants – from the Club, members of the ACFS and others from the local community, who gathered for a day of fun tennis and to help a great cause.

Also accepting an invitation to play was former World No. 2 doubles player and Davis Cup representative Sandon Stolle who was incredibly generous with his time, playing three matches with his partner for the day – Secretary of the Australia-China Friendship Society NSW, 77 year old Margaret Kelly – as well as an exhibition set with Tennis Valley members Mark Heers, Dave Keogh and Tuesday Night Comp. player Sam Green.

Sandon also took aside some of the Club’s good juniors for an impromptu coaching session and constantly made himself available to sign autographs and have his photo taken with fans.

The event attracted sponsors Star City and active clothing brand Running Bare and a combination of entry fees, raffle ticket sales and catering helped to raise much needed funds for the wonderful organisation that rescues Moon Bears from the bile farms of China and Vietnam.

The tournament was won by Tennis Valley’s Anna Cosio and Sam Green, who defeated fellow club member Shelley Storer and visitor Erwin Wong in a high quality final. Mayor Councillor Pat Reilly presented trophies to the winners and runners up, ably assisted by Animals Asia mascot, ‘Moonie’ the Moon Bear.

Both members of the ACFS and Tennis Valley Management Committee agreed the day was nothing short of sensational and are keen to make it an annual event.

And as the North Shore Times saw it:

Click here to read the article on the Animals Asia web site

Claude Hay
Claude Hay

Ava Torch

Rebecca Moore

11 March 2011

Ava Torch on FIRE at Eastern Lounge

Sultry songstress Ava Torch and her band The Boybirds headlined the March show at Eastern Lounge, bringing cabaret-style ‘Torch Pop’ to the venue for the first time.

Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as having “… a voice as smooth as a swing in a hammock" Ava teased Lounge Lizards with a selection of her original songs that blended melodramatic blues with girl-group nostalgia, jazz, rock and theatrical lyrics.

Though short in stature, Ava commanded the Eastern Lounge stage with authority and a certain sexy menace… a career on the silver screen is not at all out of the question. And Ava’s band delivered too… Nic Malouf's bold rock guitar sound accented the skin pounding, gender bending Tanya Coates on drums and mod-rocker Aidan Noyes on bass while Hamish Lane and Todd Hawken (Sydney Philharmonic choirs) were brilliant as ‘The Boybirds’ on backing vocals.

The one-man blues and roots band Claude Hay was something else again… something completely different. He enthralled the crowd with original songs built layer-by-layer using loop pedals that sat bass line and bass drum beneath snare beat and lead guitar, all overlayed by Claude’s powerful voice.

It was easy to see why American audiences fell in love with this Blue Mountains boy and easier still to predict that his US tour later this year, (which starts in Alaska and ends in Nashville!) will bring him an even bigger audience and undoubted sales success. Playing slide on a home-built twin-necked guitar and a crazy, skinny version of a sitar, Claude cut loose like few other musicians to have played Eastern Lounge. Hopefully he’ll be back to entertain us again once he’s made his millions in the States!

The beautiful Rebecca Moore opened the show after preparing for her Eastern Lounge debut with some live Tweeting among the audience. Rebecca’s Twitter followers were apparently as surprised as her when she posted a series of Tweets saying: “Can’t believe it... people are coming into a live music venue with picnic baskets!” And...“I’m talking baskets filled with food!”

Recovering from her surprise, Rebecca took to the stage and delivered a warm set of songs filled with the intricacy of metaphors, poetry and stories from her life. Her songs combined the beauty of ancient folk music traditions with the power of a brand new guitar as she captivated Lounge Lizards through tales of broken romance all delivered with a smile that just won’t let you go.

It was the perfect ‘warm up’ performance for Rebecca who just three nights later commanded the stage in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House as the support act for world music supergroup, Afro Celt Sound System. In an e-mail sent through after the Opera House show, Rebecca said: “Thanks so much for having me play at Eastern Lounge. It’s really a great thing you have going there. Playing the Opera House the Monday after was a truly amazing experience - an absolute career highlight.”

... and we helped Burmese orphans
Rebecca also impressed Eastern Lounge fans by raising money throughout the night for a Burmese Orphanage called 'Phaung Daw Oo' that looks after kids orphaned by a massive cyclone in 2008. Devoted monks care for the many orphans at Phaung Daw Oo, as well as homeless children and others from very poor families - in total over 7000 children! In addition, the Orphanage also provides one meal a day to street children.

Tennis Valley President, Mike Hartnell, was so moved after speaking with Rebecca that it seems this wonderful cause will be the recipient of further funds raised by the Club at our annual Trivia Night in May this year. (I love it when a plan comes together!)

Peter and Brydon
Peter and Brydon

Jess Chalker
Jess Chalker

Dan Hopkins
Dan Hopkins

11 February 2011

Spectacular start to 2011 for Eastern Lounge

Eastern Lounge opened its doors for the first time in 2011 on Friday February 11th with a line-up featuring some of Australia’s best musical talent… and the place went off!

Headlining the show (but playing the opening set due to a second engagement at The Basement that night) was Peter Northcote and Brydon Stace. This duo comprised one of Australia's very best guitarists with a vocalist recognised as having one of Australia’s best voices. The result was outstanding as the pair delivered a mix of originals and covers with the Eastern Lounge audience in awe of the talent on display.

Since that show, Peter Northcote has been appointed Musical Director and lead guitarist of the upcoming Bat Out of Hell national tour while Brydon Stace is the lead vocalist… (he’ll have to pack on some weight if he’s going to be Meatloaf for a month!). Bat Out of Hell hits Sydney for a major show at the State Theatre on Saturday May 7 (see:

A very nervous Jess Chalker was up next, petrified at having to follow Peter & Brydon onto the stage. But the nerves soon dissipated and Jess’s natural innocence, beautiful originals and a couple of stirring covers (in particular, Don McLean’s Vincent) had the crowd in raptures.

Jess’s performance at Eastern Lounge caught the attention of industry notables Harry Della (Rock Circuit promotions) and Chris Murphy (Manager of INXS) who were sufficiently impressed to consider working with Jess to break her internationally! (Stars are born at Eastern Lounge.)

Dan Hopkins and the Generous Few closed the show with their brand of blues and roots, playing all the songs from the band’s current EP, Golden Girl. It was a night to remember.

Among other industry notables in the audience were David and Richard Berkman of B!G Music & Multimedia and Marko Miletic of the Timeless record label.  David’s a big supporter of Eastern Lounge as a venue and hopes to replicate a similar set up at a new venue he’ll be launching in Crows Nest later this year.

Happy Birthday Col!

Eddy Fraser & The Memphis Outlaws
Eddy Fraser & The Memphis Outlaws

11 December 2010

Col's 60th Birthday Party

Tennis Valley's annual Christmas party had a decidedly 'mauve' theme about it in 2010 as Club members took the opportunity to congratulate our hard working Club Captain, Col Ritchie on his 60th Birthday.

Every year, Col's 'Prawn & Chicken Night' is a highlight of the social calendar as we gather to say Merry Christmas and cheers as awards are presented to all Club Championship winners throughout the year. But this time there was even more to celebrate… and we did it in style.

In tribute to Col, most of the guests donned their best mauve, purple, lilac and violet and danced to the brilliant retro. sounds of Eddy Fraser & The Memphis Outlaws. The band was great and had members of all ages jiving the night away. (Particular mention to Helen Knight for ripping up the dance floor with a series of partners.)

Kerry Rymer assembled a team of wonderful volunteers who not only set tables laden with the expected main course (copious quantities of luscious prawns and chicken) but also a variety of spectacular salads and a dessert table groaning under the weight of pavlovas, cakes and many other delicious delicacies.

Col has been an integral part of Tennis Valley for longer than many of us have been club members. His work with the juniors in particular is nothing short of outstanding... running competitions and tournaments, finding reserves and encouraging the kids to compete (and so improve their tennis) and to play an active role in all facets of our club.

No tennis club can survive without someone like Col. Tennis Valley is a major part of his life and this was a wonderful opportunity for all of us to acknowledge the great work he puts in and to thank him for his decades of service. It was without a doubt, the best Christmas/Birthday party in Tennis Valley's history.

Caribbean Soul
The effervescent Errol Renaud

Ella Freestone
Ella Freestone and Jackson Sweeney

Bella Hemming
16 year old Bella Hemming, playing her first ever live performance

Dance Floor
Caribbean Soul had the audience up and dancing!

19 November 2010

Eastern Lounge meets Montego Bay

The reputation of Tennis Valley's Eastern Lounge continues to grow after our 2nd Show on Friday November 19 drew over 170 people to another brilliant night of music, live and local.

Headlined by the effervescent Errol Renaud and his hip reggae band Caribbean Soul, 90% of the audience was up and dancing throughout the entire 60 minutes of the last set and for the encore that just had to follow.

It was great to see a much bigger turn out of club members for this second show, joining in happily with fans of the three bands and many music lovers from the local community (including Mayor Councillor Pat Reilly), all of whom revelled in what has already been voted the 'Best Live Music Venue on the North Shore' by Northside Magazine... after just two events!

The evening was kicked off by an absolute star of the future – 16 year old Bella Hemming, playing her first ever live performance. And what a performance she gave. Looking relaxed and comfortable on stage, Bella held 'Lounge Lizards' enthralled with her quirky, original compositions that say as much about this teenager's sense of humour as they do about her undoubted musical prowess.

Bella played ukulele and guitar and was occasionally backed by good friend Dillon Earl on keys as she sang tongue-in-cheek tunes with titles like Stalker and (She might love you if you learn to) Play Guitar, which had the crowd laughing almost as much as they were applauding.

Next up was another teenage sensation, 17 year old Ella Freestone. Ella played songs from her recently released eponymous debut album, backed by friend and fellow muso. Jackson Sweeney. She stunned the crowd with her perfectly beautiful voice. Tracks like Oxygen and The Sea had many in the audience in raptures with post-concert comments about Ella including: "What a talent!" and "Just a pleasure to listen to."

And then the diminutive Errol Renaud sauntered to the stage, all dreadlocks and big smile, just knowing that this was going to be a great gig. Caribbean Soul was everything the organisers had expected when they booked the band to finish the night on a high.

With the gorgeous Lisa Purmodh keeping the rhythm grooving along on drums, Errol took centre stage and soon had the Eastern Lounge audience in the palm of his hand. Fans who'd come just to see him yelled out requests for Errol's original songs from early albums (greatly pleasing the West Indian entertainer who's longevity is legend) and one new fan asked if the band could do a reggae version of a Neil Diamond song! (They duly obliged!)

It was a great way to close the final show at Eastern Lounge for 2010. There'll be a break over Christmas and the New Year, but Eastern Lounge will return on Friday February 11, 2011... and expect some real surprises in the line up for that date!

All inquiries about Eastern Lounge can be directed to Dave Keogh. See you next year!

*N.B. Eastern lounge photos courtesy of Johnny Walker & Roy Hill

Aleyce Simmonds
Aleyce Simmonds headlined Opening Night at Eastern Lounge

Little Fury
Jane from Little Fury

Jane and Ben from Mimesis

Tania Duffy
Tania Duffy at Eastern Lounge

8 October 2010

Eastern Lounge opens with crowded house!

On Friday October 8th Tennis Valley launched Sydney's latest live music venue - Eastern Lounge and over 150 people from the local community crowded in to enjoy Opening Night.

Those members who attended hardly recognised their clubhouse as it was transformed into a café-style lounge complete with candle-lit tables, low-hanging lanterns, a stage and dance area surrounded by comfortable lounges and the professional sound and lighting systems of an authentic live music venue.

Local band Little Fury became the first act ever to grace the stage at Eastern Lounge. Emerging from the jam sessions held regularly at the Crows Nest-based B!G Music & Multimedia, Little Fury exuded class, playing their own brand of Indie/Alternative Folk Rock. Led by the haunting vocals of lead singer Jane Gurney, the band captivated an attentive audience from their first song to their last.

Mimesis was up next and though people had difficulty with the name ("Just loved Nemesis"... "How good were The Mimes"?) etc., they were undoubtedly hugely popular with the Opening Night audience. Performing their own unique classical take on rock anthems from Led Zeppelin and Wolfmother to Disco-era Bee Gees hits, the band was driven along by lead singer/guitarist Ben Marshall incredibly backed up by a violin and two cellos!

Aleyce Simmonds headlined Opening Night and showed why she's regarded as the latest leading light among the new breed of Australian Country artists. The crowd was drawn to the dance floor as if by a giant magnet as the stunning blonde belted out both renditions of well-known standards and original compositions from her debut album to be launched in January.

A couple of 'heavy hitters' from the world of Country Music visited Eastern Lounge to support Aleyce on Opening Night. Amber Lawrence and Dianna Corcoran were respectively the winners of the 'Independent Album of the Year' and 'Independent Artist of the Year' at this year's Australian Independent Country Music Awards.

All in all, the launch of this exciting new live music venue could not have been better. The bands loved the room… the audience loved the bands AND the room... and we received support from great sponsors like B!G Music and PLT Print Solutions and wonderful media support from The North Shore Times.

Industry notables like composer, performer and multi-instrumentalist Craig Calhoun as well as the above-mentioned Amber Lawrence and Dianna Corcoran were suitably impressed by the North Shore's latest live music venue, while acting Performing Arts Manager for Willoughby City Council, Allan Rendell thought Tennis Valley had launched "... a fantastic initiative for local musicians and music lovers alike".

A special thanks to all the Tennis Valley members who helped Dave Keogh and his team at Perfect Pitch to organise and promote the launch of Eastern Lounge, notably Tony Vaccher, Don and Joye Walsh, Col Ritchie, Mike Hartnell, Kit Meyers and Kerry Rymer and Johnny Walker who took all the brilliant photos you see here.

Also a special mention to Tania Duffy who drove all the way from Queensland's Gold Coast with a torn calf muscle, just to attend Opening Night at Eastern Lounge – now that's dedication to the cause! Torn calf or not, as the accompanying photo shows, Tania looked a million dollars on the night.

Don't forget, the next Eastern Lounge event (and the last for 2010) will be held on Friday November 19 with a brand new, all-star line-up of emerging Australian talent.

Kirk's proposal to Layne

Mr & Mrs Kirk Pengilly

10 October 2010

Congratulations Layne and Kirk

Tennis Valley's most famous member, former world surfing champion Layne Beachley, became Mrs Kirk Pengilly recently in a private ceremony held at the INXS star's Kangaroo Valley property.

Following a lengthy engagement, the couple let superstition dictate their wedding date and chose the 10th day of the 10th month of the 10th year for their big event, a popular and supposedly lucky date that won't return for another hundred years.

Taking the 10-10-10 theme to the extreme, Layne and Kirk were married at 10 minutes past 10am on Sunday surrounded only by a small party of guests including Kirk's model daughter from a previous relationship, April Rose.

In a post-wedding e-mail to Tennis Valley member (and Layne's former coach) Dave Keogh, Layne said: "It was such a fun day... very relaxing and romantic! I look forward to catching up real soon for a celebratory glass of champagne and maybe even a hit of tennis!"

Layne may soon have some more time to hit tennis balls, with Kirk about to hit the road with INXS again for the band's first Australian tour in four years.

Everyone at Tennis Valley wishes both Layne and Kirk all the best for a lifetime of happiness together.

Tracey Garrett had a 100% winning sets record leading into the semi-finals of the 1.2 Ladies Badge Comp. this year.

16 August 2010

Tennis Valley wins Ladies Badge Club of the Year… again!

For the sixth year in succession, Tennis New South Wales has again pronounced Tennis Valley the Ladies Badge Club of the Year!

With teams entered in 5 divisions, we returned the outstanding results of two winning teams, one runner-up and two teams who finished just outside the semis.

Congratulations to our awesome teams in Division 1.1 and 1.2, neither of whom was ever threatened for the title. Our top team, captained by our Ladies Badge Captain, Sue Deller featured the big guns in their 5-2 Final win over Parklands 1… Nicole Nissen, Bree Calderwood, Lucia Gonzalez and Stephanie Bengstrom. The team was simply unstoppable.

The 1.2 team captained by Elise Taylor and featuring Stephanie Asprey, Tracey Garrett, Simone Massie, Robyn Rickard and Kaye Nealon were under-graded. They should have been competing in the top grade but instead, simply coasted through the comp. without ever being challenged… in fact Tracey never lost a set until the Final, which the team won 5-2 against Royal Sydney!

We had a second team in 1.2. that contained players of the future in Alix Ho (16) and Rebecca Jones (14). While not finishing in the money, they were competitive against most teams in the grade and the teenagers are definitely better players for the experience.

Our 1.3 ladies made a late run and only just missed out on a semi-final berth and our 1.4 team were also unlucky to finish just outside the top four. In Div 2.2, Louise Dortman's team (Louise, Penny Reid, Celine Paillart, Joanne Pickhaver, Corinne Court, Serena Potts and Jane Conner) played gallantly all comp. gutsing out an incredibly tight semi-final win against Neutral Bay before falling in the Final to Beecroft.

Congratulations to all our ladies on a sensational effort once more. Tennis Valley's reputation continues to be enhanced by your efforts.

30 June 2010

Tennis Valley junior Ben Wagland into 3rd Wimbledon round

17 year old club member, Ben Wagland has won his first two rounds at this year's Wimbledon Boy's Championship.

Ben faced a difficult opponent first up in the shape of 10th seeded Austrian, Dominic Thiem, but emerged triumphant from a thrilling match, 7/5, 6/7, 7/5. The win was all the more meritorious considering Thiem has previously won three Grade 1 events this year and reached the semis of the prestigious Grade A Trofeo Bonfiglio in May.

Ben's next opponent was Brazil's Guilherme Clezar, whom he defeated 7/5, 7/5 with Aussie legend John Newcombe an interested spectator - Ben is occasionally coached by Newc's son, Clint.

Ben recently made it to the semi-finals of the 21st Mitsubishi-Lancer International Juniors Championships and back in 2007 was a member of Australia's victorious, history-making 14/U World Junior Tennis Team.

Ben is one of four Aussies in the Boys Championships this year. The others are Ben Mitchell, 8th seed James Duckworth and the Top Seed Jason Kubler. We wish all the boys every success… (but especially Ben!)

30 June 2010

James Stormon named NSTA 'Sportsman of the Year'

Long time Tennis Valley member and current Club Tournament Director, James Stormon, has been named Northern Suburbs Tennis Association 'Sportsman of the Year'.

As published in the NSTA's official newsletter:

"No-one can argue that James is not a popular and obvious choice for our Sportsman of the Year. For many years he has been a member of Tennis Valley and always participates in NSTA competitions and tournaments.

"James never fails to display great sportsmanship and total enjoyment of the game. He is a great asset to tennis in this district and to tennis Valley in particular – a great example to fellow members of any age."

Congratulations James from your fellow members!

Layne fires a forehand

The Finalists

Ballgirls with Liz and Guy

M.C. Simon Westaway

7 February 2010

Tennis Valley hosts major Celebrity Tennis Day!

The NSW Corporate Games Celebrity Tennis Day was held at Tennis Valley in February to raise much-needed funds for Diabetes Australia-NSW.

The event also served as a media launch for the 2010 NSW Corporate Games, which is wholly owned by Diabetes Australia-NSW and serves as their largest annual awareness event.

Despite dodgy weather, which had the event in doubt until 7:30 on the morning of the event, the decision was made to go ahead and we were blessed with playable conditions for most of the day.

16 celebrities braved the conditions and turned up on time to take their place in the Celebrity Fun did their partners including Tennis Valley members Tony Vaccher, Kim and James Rowland, Angelo Rozos and Kit Myers who all placed the winning bids in an online auction to play with their favourite celebrities.

Kit partnered the vivacious Nici Andronicus (former World No. 2 Triathlete); Kim chose Guy Leech (former World Ironman Champion); James went for height and played with former Australian Netball Captain Liz Ellis; Angelo went for beauty with Channel 9 Sports Commentator Stephanie Brantz; while Tony followed the smart money and partnered Fox Sports football commentator and keen tennis player, Simon Hill.

Other celebrities included Seven Time World Surfing Champion (and Tennis Valley member) Layne Beachley; Melbourne Cup winning jockey Corey Brown and his friendly rival, bush legend Allan Robinson; Australian cricketer Trevor Chappell; Sharks and Souths NRL hero David Peachey; Beach Volleyball Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Pottharst; Socceroo Goalkeeper Mark Bosnich; North Sydney Bears legend and one time leading NRL point scorer Jason Taylor; Three Time Miss World Natural Figure Champion, Lindy Olsen; and even some international stars in current World No. 5 Beach Volleyball team Angie Akers and Tyra Turner.

Star of the hugely successful TV series Underbelly Simon Westaway (Mick Gatto) made a brilliant M.C. keeping the crowd of around 200 entertained from kick-off 'til the final ball was hit.  The State Member of Willoughby, Gladys Berejiklian MP officially opened the event, while the Mayor of Willoughby Pat Riley and 5 of his fellow Councillors attended, as did both the President and CEO of Tennis NSW, Steve Healy and Glenn Tasker.

Nickleodeon's Active Kidz provided entertainment for the little ones, while sponsor Crazy John's mascot roamed the club, sparring with Barnaby Bee (the Diabetes mascot) to the delight of the assembled crowd.

There were some great matches throughout the day including a thrilling semi-final pitting husband against wife when James Rowland and Liz Ellis took on Kim Rowland and Guy Leech in an enthralling match that had the crowd cheering every point.  James and Liz won a tight fought tiebreaker to put them into the final against Jason Taylor and his partner from the Cleland Club, Nathan Lowe...for an identical result!

In a nail-biting final played in steadily increasing rain, the former NRL star threw himself around the court like he was still on North Sydney Oval and came within an inch of taking out the event...but the experience of the Tennis Valley player matched the clever angles produced by the netball great to give Liz & James victory in another sudden death tiebreaker.  Layne Beachley and David Peachey teamed up to defeat Corey Brown and Stephanie Brantz in the consolation All Star Showdown.

It was a massive day for the Club and the feedback from everyone involved has been universally positive.  So much so that the celebrities have already asked to be invited to 'the next event' at Tennis Valley.

A HUGE thank you goes out to each and every celebrity who put their hand up to participate and gave up their Sunday to raise money for Diabetes Australia-NSW.  (Many more from Ray Martin to Ryan Girdler and others genuinely wanted to play, but were unable to due to other commitments).

And thanks too to all the court sponsors of the Celebrity Tennis Day - GraysOnline, Crazy John's, The Good Guys Chatswood, NAB North Shore and Star City...and to the many businesses that donated auction and raffle items.  It looks like the success of the inaugural event has all but guaranteed Tennis Valley's selection as the venue for the 2011 NSW Corporate Games launch.

Check out all the photos from this great day in the Gallery.

26 October 2009

New Tennis Valley Web Site goes live

We are pleased to announce the launch of the first ever Tennis Valley web site full of all the club news, events and information on competitions, social play, coaching and court hire for members and friends.

If you have any news, club stories, photos or video you'd like to see added to the site, please e-mail all content to:

13 September 2009

Flushing Meadows meets Tennis Valley on Finals Day…
… and 'The Champ' drops in

This year the Finals Day of the Tennis Valley Open Division Club Championships coincided precisely with Finals Day at the U.S. Open on the other side of the world. And the two came together in style on Eastern Valley Way on Sunday September 13.

As you'd expect, the Open Finals featured some of the club's best players with the top seeds in both singles finals crashing to defeat. The Men's Singles Final was absolutely absorbing – undoubtedly one of the best ever played at Tennis Valley. In the end, 15 year old Chris O'Connell came from a set down to outlast defending champion, 18 year old Scott Wagland in a thriller.

Stephanie Asprey turned back the clock in a great victory over 20 year old Jenny Alterre. But Jenny didn't go home empty handed, taking both the Ladies and Mixed Doubles titles with partners Elise Taylor and Nick Johnston respectively.

In the Men's Doubles, Nick Johnston and James Stormon proved too strong for Duncan Journee and David Litchfield.

But while the tennis was hot, so was the occasion served up by the Club's social committee. The whole place was dressed in red, white and blue -streamers and balloons everywhere, spectators dressed in the U.S. colours… there was face painting for the kids and a Kids Court with a range of activities for the younger ones.

Another court featured a speed gun for measuring the Club's big servers, while on one court you were only allowed to play with a wooden racquet. Johnny Walker did a brilliant job as both M.C. and official photographer on the day.

The catering was excellent with an all-American menu of hot dogs, apple and pecan pies and delicious star spangled cup cakes. And the bar served two fantastic cocktails – Manhattans and Bronx Cocktails, which went down a treat on a steaming hot day.

Dignitaries arrived in their droves, from The Mayor of Willoughby, Cr. Pat Riley to Councillor Wendy Norton who's in charge of the Middle Harbour Ward in which the Club is set. And adding a splash of celebrity to the occasion was none other than Seven Time ASP World Surfing Champion (and club member) Layne Beachley, who presented the winners' trophies and gave an inspiring speech to our juniors about pursuing their dreams.

All in all a fantastic day that will be long remembered by all… (except those who perhaps had just one Bronx Cocktail too many!).

More photos