HITTING HARD: Brad Hubbard said he has been playing tennis since he was four – hitting a tennis ball against his garage door, driving his parents mad. Pic: Contributed
HITTING HARD: Brad Hubbard said he has been playing tennis since he was four – hitting a tennis ball against his garage door, driving his parents mad. Pic: Contributed

Seniors tennis tournament to hit Western Downs

FOR the first time the Chinchilla Tennis Association will be hosting a senior's tournament, joining up with Tennis Seniors Queensland to deliver a sporting opportunity to regional Queensland that will see players travel from across the state to attend.

The tennis courts in Chinchilla are one of the largest tennis centres in Queensland, sporting 11 synthetic grass courts making it a prime location for the tournament.

Tournament director and past president of the club Brad Hubbard said the event provides a great opportunity for older players to get involved in competitive tennis and compete against players at the top of their game.

"One of the good things about senior sport is, and actually these days a lot of sports are starting to have it, people are playing in their age group as they get older," Hubbard said.

"It keeps people fit, involved and competitive as they get older - so instead of people saying 'oh well I'm not good anymore' they can still play people of their same age but in a competitive setting.

"It's really good for keeping people vibrant and healthy and keeping that interest in sport going."

There will also be a B-grade division, opening the event up to all players regardless of their skill set.

"I'm hoping our local players, rather than thinking they aren't good enough, just say 'I'm going to give it a go and have some fun'," Hubbard said.

"No one needs to think that they aren't good enough, anyone that wants to play can play have a good time."

The tournament will take place on Saturday, February 22, and will also run the following Sunday - with the age divisions ranging from 35 to 75 and up.

The event is expected to attract some quality talent including current Australian Over 55s number five John Grant, over 60s number three Frank Burns, and other players who have performed well across Australia and Europe this year.

On the local front, there are a number of Chinchilla and district players who have achieved well in Seniors Tennis, who are keen to get involved in the event.

Condamine's Glen Gray has competed for Queensland at national titles a number of times over the last 10 years.

Hubbard himself is looking forwards to getting his racquet out as he has played on and off for Queensland over the last 13 years.

He was also selected as captain of Queensland's Over 55 team this year. - they finished in third place in the division.

The treasurer and club secretary Don Bell will be one to watch in the Over 65 division.

Don's consistency and ability to hustle around the court is set to make him a formidable opponent.

"Anyone that plays will have a great time. Everyone gets the same amount of tennis and we can even have graded events for solid social players, and on Saturday night we're having a barbecue dinner with trivia so players can chat and socialise," Hubbard said.

For more information and those looking to enter can head to the Tennis Seniors Queensland website.