Small Beginnings As A Tennis Group.
The group started on the grass courts at Milton in the late 1970s when Dan Whitehead was the organiser. Dan was a senior Liberal Party figure in Queensland and an active member of the Brisbane Club. It is believed that initially, the players came from the Brisbane Club.
Dan Whitehead moved to the Sunshine Coast to live, and the organising of the group was taken over by Mr Ray Bricknell, who has stopped playing within the group but is still our treasurer of the group and until recently was doing all the pairing of matches. By the time Ray took over, Milton Tennis Centre had closed down (around 1999) and the group had moved to the UQ Courts to play tennis. Many of the new members at the time, came from the UQ at the time. Eventually, the group moved to the present Toowong Tennis Centre courts in Sylvan Road, Toowong.
Around 2017, one of the new members at the time, Barry Osborne, got more involved with the operation and took on the administrative roles from Ray Bricknell and John Long. He developed computerised systems that worked out the pairings each week and kept track of the scores. He also took over a marketing role, created a website in the name of Toowong Tennis Old Dogs and started to enrol many more new members, bringing some younger members as well as many lady members. Over the next few years the group had grown from one session per week (12 players) to eight sessions per week (68 players).
But there was more to achieve than just tennis
The Active Aging Hub Begins
It was understood by the group that tennis was a great way but more importantly a fun way to get well-needed exercise. The research was supporting the concept that the more exercise you had through life, the greater your life expectancy was. But there was also a challenge as to how to maintain and sustain new friendships because social interaction was just as important for mental health and wellness.
The Active Aging Hub (AAH), started in 2022, is a community support concept to help moderate or overcome these issues by offering several services.
Sporting type activities that will maintain the member’s health, coordination, and strength of the body
Social Interaction that will offer opportunities for members to meet new people and hopefully develop new friendships
Using the membership base, focus on the individual’s present knowledge/skill based, then be able to give other members an introduction to such interests.
Learning about the needs of the members and then be able to offer training and demonstrations to satisfy the need or offering services to fulfil the need.