Morningside Tennis Centre | The Queensland Community Lawn Tennis Association
At the heart of Brisbane Tennis since 1925. Play tennis at one of Brisbane’s oldest sporting organisations.
Except you’re not actually a member of the Morningside Tennis Club. Technically there’s no such organisation. You’re actually a member of the Queensland Community Lawn Tennis Association (QCLTA), a non-profit organisation run by volunteers that’s been a part of tennis in Brisbane for a long time.
Here’s a quick history:
- Our club traces its roots back to January 1925. That’s almost 90 years of history that includes World War 2, the Great Depression, wooden tennis racquets strung with cat gut and the first man to set foot on the moon. We’re almost as old as Vegemite, which was created in 1923!
- In our heyday we had 1,369 members, 846 of whom were juniors, we had 128 teams playing fixtures and the Annual Club Championship had 1,177 entrants in 82 different events and had to be held over 7 consecutive Sundays.
- There were annual social events such as the Club Dinner and Dance (400+ people at a time) that included the crowning of Miss QCLTA of the year (we still have the cape and crown!) and the Gala Junior Disco (remember discos?) that featured the crowning of Miss Junior QCLTA and Miss Charity QCLTA of the year.
We were an association whose club championship would dwarf any domestic tennis tournament held today, whose club dinner and dance would fill any ballroom in Brisbane and whose members represented state and country on a regular basis. There even used to be a Club Bar!
And all this was achieved by an organisation run by volunteers, passionate about their sport and committed to helping members make the most of their tennis; no matter their ambition, age or ability.
But, like almost all tennis clubs in Australia, the past few decades have not been easy. Falling membership, debilitating holding costs and spiralling land values have driven many clubs to shut their doors and sell their land to property developers. This was a prospect we faced a few years ago were it not for three key events:
- The renovation of the clubhouse and pro shop. This was only possible through a generous bequest from the late Brenda Dale, one of the stalwarts of the QCLTA for many, many years.
- The addition of two new courts. This was 75% funded by a grant from the Queensland State Government and 25% funded by the Brenda Dale Estate.
- The appointment of a professional operator to manage the facilities. Mark Bloomfield was the successful applicant and his organisation, Tennis Gear, has been running the Centre since January 2012. He is assisted by the General Manager, Rob Daley.
As a result we’ve seen the fortunes of the Club change for the better, with more players and more programs than we’ve seen in a long time. Our tennis courts are in top shape and we have heaps of other things planned for the club.
But the more important point is – we’re still a volunteer organisation! And we need you! If you think there’s something that we can do to make the Club more fun for everyone then let us know. If you’d like to get a group of people together to do get it done – even better! Talk to Rob or any Committee member and we’ll get the ball rolling.