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Newcastle aces inaugural women’s tennis challenge

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Newcastle and Central Coast clubs have taken a big step in re-energising inter-district competition, via the introduction of the Mid-Week Ladies Annual Tennis Challenge.

Although hosted by the Gosford Tennis Centre this month, it was the Novocastrians who came away with the inaugural trophy.

Newcastle committee members Julie Shearer and Leigh Mills were delighted to collect the silverware for the first time.

“The day was a wonderful experience for all the women to play different people – and competition – at a new event,” the former said.

“Many players back in Newcastle will be envious that they missed out on the opportunity to be a part of the maiden interclub tournament.”

In her acceptance speech, Shearer thanked the Gosford committee, led by Kathryn Kelly, for its efforts in staging the occasion.

“It’s been truly amazing,” she added.

Forty-eight ladies, ranging in age from mid-20s to over 70, took to the courts in a competition spanning two divisions.

With early matches favouring the home side, Newcastle came home strong to claim the spoils 171 points to 149.

The event is key to fostering broader playing opportunities for women locally and builds on a strong tradition of mid-week tennis in Newcastle and the Central Coast.

“We congratulate the Newcastle and Gosford committees on this initiative,” Tennis NSW development officer Kathy Barber said.

“The Tennis NSW Strategic Plan highlights continuing development and delivery of women and girls’ programs.

“It’s so pleasing to see our local committees doing just that for local female players.”

It is expected that some players will go on to be involved in further initiatives including Tennis NSW’s Sheroes program, connecting women in tennis across the state and championed by ex-WTA professional and current women and girls lead for Tennis NSW, Casey Dellacqua.

Newcastle will host the 2023 event at the District Park Tennis Centre, Broadmeadow.

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