MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

The Frank Sedgman Club offers life membership to individuals and families whose children play tennis during their time at GGS. Individual membership costs $100 and Family membership costs $200. As part of the membership, the Individual member will receive either a Club Visor or Club Cap, and a Family membership will include a choice of two items. Please consider becoming a Member. The more members we have, the bigger our voice.

Follow the link to join online today: Click to pay for The Frank Sedgman Club Membership online 

Thank you to those who have already joined. 

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Frank Sedgman Club
Newsletter - 21 May 2020

 

WELCOME BACK TO GGS TENNIS NEWS EVERYONE!

The Frank Sedgman Club Committee is very grateful for the wonderful support we have had from the GGS tennis parents. We welcome our new Committee members and thank all our wonderful volunteers.

Sedgman Club visor

Everything happened so fast with the shutdown and we were so lucky our kids got to complete their summer tennis season at GGS. We can’t go past the fantastic achievement of our Boys’ 1st Team who finished in 3rd position (out of 11 teams) on the APS ladder and the best ever result in the history of tennis at Geelong Grammar School. 

Tennis Boys 1sts 2020 with coaches 

How times have quickly changed. We hope you are all safe and well as we continue to deal with the isolation of Covid-19. Well done for supporting our amazing school and to our Principal, Ms Rebecca Cody for implementing the important measures she has taken to ensure our safety.

Have you been keeping fit? How many out there have tried “The Roger Federer Challenge”? Novak has! You must also see some of Rafa’s chat sessions with the other players. Recommended viewing! There have been some great fun tennis training videos on the internet, so make sure you and your kids stay active between school times and be ready for the return of tennis. We will all be more susceptible to injury after this lay-off so important to do even just a little bit of tennis-related exercise each day. The Frank Sedgman Club will continue to push for tennis all year round and fund whatever we can afford to help, because this is one of the reasons it is important for tennis, especially, to be continuous.

Roger Federer Insta post

Whilst we didn’t have our Family Tournament (which had to be postponed) or our presentation afternoon tea for the players, we have to consider ourselves so lucky that our kids got most of their matches played. We managed to still hold our Cocktail Party to officially relaunch The Frank Sedgman Club at Kooyong before the shut down and what an honor it was to have Mr Frank Sedgman AO, one of the greatest ever players of all time, give his blessing for the naming rights.

Frank Sedgman and Ken McGregor at Kooyong

Frank Sedgman and Ken McGregor on centre court Kooyong in the 1950’s.
They are the only doubles team to win a calendar-year Grand Slam
and their 7 consecutive wins in Grand Slam events are still the all-time record. 
Pic taken from the book Game, Sedge & Match by Ron Reed.

Tennis is now the most played sport at Geelong Grammar School and our parent support group boasts one of the healthiest memberships, with over 180 members. Tennis is in a strong position and we will make sure we come back stronger than ever at a time when our support will be needed more than ever. Our aim is still that the future of tennis at Geelong Grammar will be better than ever before and that we pass on a healthy, enjoyable and inclusive sport with a strong support group for the next generation of students.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The AGM was held on Saturday 16 February, Family Day, and the election of Committee Members for 2020 is as follows:

President – Sally Wills
Vice-President – Serena Mitchell
Treasurer – Iga Bajer (in her role as Support Group & Event Coordinator)
Secretary – Sue Lester
General Committee: Kirsty McCartney (Tennis TIC), Sophie Wilson, Andy Wilson, Naomi Stephens, David Stevens, John Chomley, Ray Lester & Steven Shaw.

Thank you again to our new as well as our retiring committee members. Special thanks to Immediate Past Treasurer and Chief BBQ’er, Olga Watters-Koestenbauer for her wonderful support. Olga and her husband David have given much support to GGS over the last 3 decades, always willing to volunteer. They have been passionate supporters and wonderful friends to APS Tennis on Saturdays, rarely missing a game. Thank you also to Hayley Siddons for her assistance in recording the minutes of the meeting at short notice.

During the AGM, discussion included:

  • access to coaching & training facilities all year, incl. the possibility of refurbishing 3 courts next to Barwon House
  • Cocktail Party details, incl. donations for auction and rotating venue between Kooyong & Royal South Yarra
  • the end of season celebration for the players and the Family Tournament (of course, it ended up that the last two events had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 restrictions)

In other business, team uniforms were discussed; possibility of safety railings for the Grand Stand at Bender Centre, re-establishing of play-offs for school champions; and the possibility of embroidered polos for the 1sts, as has, historically, been the tradition.

Sunny and kids at Family Day tent

Visitors to our Frank Sedgman Club tent, Family Day 2020

We have come a long way in a very short time and, as our amazing President, Sally Wills, insists, it’s been a team effort, and every contribution is greatly appreciated.

Please contact The Frank Sedgman Club (by emailing supportgroups@ggs.vic.edu.au) if there is ever anything else you or your children feel passionately about that they would like to see happen in school tennis. 

NOW ONTO THE TENNIS

Our Boys' and Girls' 1sts have had an enjoyable season, with each team contributing hugely to the growing status of tennis at our school. Undoubtedly, the best Saturday mornings at the Bender Centre are when both are home together and we all get to mix - students and parents. It has always been a great team atmosphere and a real club feel with all the parents that turn up every week. It was great to see our Director of Sport, Mr Paul La Cava at some of the matches and much excitement when our Principal, Ms Rebecca Cody was able to find time to drop by, which was so well received.

Panorama Bender courtsBender Centre Grand Stand Teddy the dog

Our Senior players, eligible for selection in the 1sts, attended their tennis camp on 28-29 January, to prepare for the remainder of the Summer Season. The camp was run by our Head Coach, Andrew Cameron with Assistant Coaches: Adam Lasky, Carolyn McGann and Jayde Glascott, and supervised by our brilliant TIC, Ms Kirsty McCartney. It was a great success.

THE BOYS’ 1sts...

...worked hard to be an undefeated team in 2020, finishing overall with 6 wins, only 2 losses, one wash out and 3rd on the final APS ladder. The best ever result for a tennis team at Geelong Grammar School.

They had some great results overall, with each boy having the match resting on his shoulders at some stage. Close finishes against Xavier, Brighton Grammar & Caulfield Grammar resulted in exciting victories, when those teams had expected an easy win. Coach Adam Lasky said the boys had developed a real belief in themselves and went into every match with a winning mentality. He felt this was the most improved aspect of their game. They became a solid and supportive team. News of their success against our Melbourne rivals was really enjoyed around the school and the boys appreciated the support and interest. It was great the day they played Geelong College, not so much for the good win, but for how excited even College were for our success. Still on a high from their own first great win against Carey Grammar, their coach in his closing speech to round out the day, said Geelong teams finally beating some of the Melbourne teams was “good for tennis” and we should stick together! It was a great touch.

Tennis Boys 1sts 2020 at TGC

At the conclusion of the Geelong College game

What ended up being the last match for the season was the win against Caulfield Grammar, with every set in the balance and some very nerve-wracking tie-breaks. This unlikely and hard fought victory to GGS meant the boys pipped St Kevin's for outright 3rd position on the APS ladder. When the final round was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, it meant St Kevin’s couldn’t catch them! Final ladder: 1st Haileybury, 2nd Scotch, 3rd GGS, and 4th St Kev’s! Wesley, Caulfield Grammar, Xavier, Brighton Grammar, Carey, Melbourne Grammar and Geelong College followed in that order. Congratulations boys from all at The Frank Sedgman Club - it is a season to be celebrated.

Tennis Boys 1sts 2020 circle

Tennis APS ladder 2020

Our Year 12 boys, Sunny Handy (Capt), Florian Watters (Vice-Capt), Laurenz Watters, Harry Wills, Dirk Cappetti and Sunny Lui were a driving force behind the team’s success and can leave proud of their massive contribution to GGS Tennis and how much they all supported the younger team members: Nicholas Lester, Theo Shaw, Herbie Maynard and Lachlan Wills. Thanks also to Ralph McIntosh who was 1st Reserve.

Tennis Boys 1sts 2020 Year 12s

As we keep saying, The Frank Sedgman Club aims to support tennis training and coaching all year round by developing and funding accessible tennis facilities on the school grounds for all players. This year, some of the 1st Boys who were boarding, organised taxis to Geelong Lawn on a Friday night for coaching, when they could find time outside of their compulsory winter sport and school commitments. This was not ideal but it certainly paid off. We want tennis to be continuous, especially for the boarders, like it is for the kids in Melbourne who can still attend coaching and play club competition and tournaments all year round which gives them a huge advantage. 

OUR GIRLS 1sts...

...showed unreal grit and determination as a close-knit team, under very difficult conditions, to give their all in every match. Winky Messner (Capt) has written this beautiful piece that perfectly illustrates just how the game should be played and reflects a different type of success and the team spirit we would like tennis at GGS to continue to be known for:

The 2019/2020 Girls 1st Tennis Season was very enjoyable. Although we only had one win and one draw throughout the season, there were many close matches that came down to final games. Each member of the team showed improvement throughout the weeks and this was evident when we played each school for the second time, as the margin was smaller. At our training sessions throughout the season we were lucky enough to be coached by a number of different coaches, which ensured we were motivated and had lots of fun. I would like to say a big thank you to Carolyn for her commitment and dedication to the 1st Girls. She has been a great coach to us all and has enabled each of us to grow as tennis players.
Winky Messner

Tennis Girls 1sts 2020

The girls were hampered by injury and illness throughout the season in all but one game, and finished 7th overall. To make no excuses, still find positives and support your teammates through thick and thin is a quality that is also hugely responsible for bringing more and more kids to tennis every season, as much as any ladder success. Thank you girls and thank you to our Girls’ Captain, Winky and Vice-Captain, Ruby Wilson, for your wonderful leadership and the great sportsmanship of your entire team this season. Everyone wants to play a sport where you feel included and valued, where someone has your back and, mostly, where you actually have fun. No wonder everyone wants to play tennis. Congratulations girls.

Tennis Girls 1sts 2020 Issy Tennis Girls 2020 1
Tennis Girls 2020 2 Tennis Girls 1sts 2020 Gemma

THANKS TO OUR TIC

Kirsty McCartney is our hard working TIC and we thank her again for organising everything to get matches on courts every weekend. We had so many players this season that some matches had to, unfortunately, be cancelled because the competition had scheduled too many home matches for GGS on the same day. Apart from juggling courts to make sure all kids got a game throughout the season, Kirsty was also orgainsing the 1st Teams' morning teas, tennis equipment and weekly training schedules, to name just a few of her many responsibilities. It is a big job with the ever increasing numbers.

Tanny Sutton and Kirsty McCartney

Tennis TIC, Kirsty McCartney (on the right) with the Immediate Past President of the Tennis Support Group, Tanny Sutton (left) at the Frank Sedgman Club Relaunch Cocktail Party

Kirsty has made some lovely comments that Andrew Cameron has created a really healthy attitude to tennis and training amongst the players. She says that Andrew knows every child by name across all year levels, is very fair to everyone and makes sure coaches and teachers are fully engaged in the training. It is such a positive step forward and Kirsty says it is a pleasure to watch.

Andrew has worked passionately with the students to create this supportive environment for tennis at GGS to thrive and for all the kids to aspire to whatever level of tennis they feel comfortable with, whilst still aiming to improve all the time. He has been a wonderful support to The Frank Sedgman Club and has worked closely with Sally Wills to drive the change we are now seeing. Thank you to Andrew and his Assistant Coaches: Adam Lasky, Carolyn McGann and Jayde Glascott.

The consistent feedback The Frank Sedgman Club receives from parents is how much their kids all enjoy having tennis as their chosen sport because the “team” atmosphere is so good and the sport is so enjoyable.

PARENT SUPPORT...

...has continued to be wonderful for tennis at our school and we should be proud that we usually still outnumber opposition supporters each week - no matter how far we have to travel to and from GGS. Pat yourselves on the back parents who travel many more k's than the 50 minute trip from Melbourne, to watch their children play sport on as many weekends as possible. It is noticed and appreciated, and also greatly contributes to the success of our sport and the healthy membership of The Frank Sedgman Club.

OUR BBQ...

...has continued and many thanks to Olga for organising this so well, getting the delicious sausages from her local butcher and generously bringing condiments from her own pantry. What will we do without you, Olga?! We had a “carpark discussion” on the possibility of buying our own foldable BBQ to have at the tent on match days as this may be easier than having to organise the school’s BBQ each time. A flat burner for under $100 would be perfect and we will discuss this at a later date. We have had extra snacks, sandwiches, tea and coffee available at the pavilion on match days, donated by Committee members. The school provides morning tea for the 1sts as per the competition requirements, but the Committee has attempted to provide extras for everyone else so it becomes more inclusive. We hope they have been enjoyed and we hope to continue to improve on this each season however we can, once we know when sport will resume and how much will change.

THE FRANK SEDGMAN CLUB RELAUNCH COCKTAIL PARTY @ KOOYONG

The Frank Sedgman Club was officially relaunched at our Inaugural Cocktail Party at Kooyong Tennis Club on a wonderful evening of 5 March 2020. Sally Wills could not believe it when she was able to ring one of the greats of Australian tennis, and of sport world-wide, Mr Frank Sedgman AO, and for him to say that he, wife Jean and daughter Linda would be delighted to accept her invitation to our event and that we had his blessing for the naming rights.

Frank and Jean Sedgman

Our Guests of Honour, Frank and Jean Sedgman

Linda and Jean Sedgman with Sally Wills

Linda and Jean Sedgman with the Current President of the Frank Sedgman Club, Sally Wills

We are now official and the night was a smashing success with over 80 people attending, representative of all our campuses and all year levels playing tennis at GGS, as well as past players and parents. We really appreciate those of you who came along and supported the event and our auctions on the night.

The Cocktail Party was brilliantly coordinated by our VP, Serena Mitchell (Mackinnon, Cl'83). Everything ran so smoothly, without a hitch. Serena put an enormous amount of work into compiling an impressive list of invitees and a great list of auction items. These included luxury weekends at Port Fairy and Naringal Homestead, donated by the McGregor and Wills families; tickets to Australian Open Womens' Final from Tennis Australia; 2 Melbourne Theatre Company packages to the Evonne Goolagong musical from Abercrombie & Kent; Provenance Pinot Noir from the McGregors; Cobram Estate hampers; RF tennis racquets from the Elite Tennis Academy @ St Andrews Gardiner and the Kooyong Pro Shop; Town & Country Gardens Malvern package; some great vouchers from Ricky’s Locale, Aroma and Woodfire Gril in Noosa organised by Deb Ogilvie; Country Road homewares from Jacqui Jobe; a Gumtree food hamper and other tennis-themed donations from parents. We cleared $13,800 on the night, which also included more memberships sold that evening. The venue was beautiful. The menu Serena chose was delicious and she had negotiated a deal that was excellent value with plenty to eat and drink.

Our Principal, Ms Rebecca Cody recorded a beautiful message which was introduced by our MC, John Chomley (M'85). It was a terrific start to the night. Sally Wills gave a magnificent President’s speech and reflected on the past and present of tennis at GGS and how far we had come in such a short time in the revival. Sally also noted the great contributions of Past President, Tanny Sutton, and the first President of the original Sedgman Club in 1993, Mr Patrick Moore (M'62). Both Tanny and Patrick attended the evening and were presented with our Frank Sedgman Club caps as Honorary Members (see pic below). They were delighted to be acknowledged. Our current 1st Players, Winky and Jemma, compiled a beautiful slideshow of the players, which was enjoyed throughout the evening, and we thank them very much for the time it took to put this together.

Sally Wills presenting caps to Tanny Sutton and Patrick Moore

Head GGS Tennis Coach, Andrew Cameron, gave a fantastic speech beginning with his summary of the great tennis season our kids had and how positive he was for the future of tennis at Geelong Grammar School, followed by his stirring introduction of Mr Sedgman. Andrew gave us the history of Mr Sedgman’s unbelievable achievements. They included 22 Grand Slam titles (Frank cheekily reminded us later that Roger had only won 20!) and how Frank, with partner Ken McGregor, are the only team in history to ever win a calendar year doubles Grand Slam (the Bryans have won four consecutive Grand Slam events, but in a period spanning two calendar years). Frank & Ken’s 7 consecutive wins in Grand Slam Doubles events in 1950/51 are still the all-time record. Andrew talked of Frank’s impressive Davis Cup record, where Frank won 16 out of 19 Singles and all 9 Doubles matches between 1949 and 1952, plus a very long line of other amazing achievements. Imagine how many more Grand Slam titles Frank could have won had he not turned professional in 1953, which paved the way for the sport to grow dramatically but, as a consequence, he was unfairly banned from playing for ten years. Frank has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to tennis with the Order of Australia medal, made a Member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and a Legend in the Australian Hall of Fame.

Andrew Cameron with Frank Sedgman AO

Andrew then invited Mr Sedgman to the stage. 

'Please, call me Frank', said Frank, on more than one occasion, much to the delight of the crowd!

Andrew conducted a thoroughly memorable interview where Frank nominated the highlight of his career as being the first Australian to win the US Open and also winning the Wimbledon Singles, Doubles and Mixed all in the same year. Frank said he had followed a long line of Davis Cup Champions before him, including Norman Brookes, whom he succeeded in the team. Interestingly, Frank said Norman was also known for buying the land for Kooyong Tennis Club, which he got for virtually nothing as it was on what was just a “run down old creek”!

Andrew asked Frank how he had come to coach at Geelong Grammar in the 1950s. Frank said he had played juniors against a young fellow by the name of John Barnett (M'44), beating him in both the Victorian and Australian Junior Championships. John Barnett’s father had built the bridge over the Hobart River and John had gone to board at Geelong Grammar. Frank thought he was a terrific bloke and John was the one who introduced Frank to tennis at our school. Frank’s father was a coach at the time and along with fellow coach Keith Rogers, they used to go down to GGS to coach. Frank would come and help when he wasn’t running around the world playing tennis. At the time, Frank was very busy with his amateur commitments and when he turned pro in 1953 he was very much involved with this new chapter of tennis, but any spare moment he would go to Geelong Grammar School to help his father and Keith with the kids.

Of course, times have changed so much and Frank said that the biggest difference is definitely the prize money. Frank got 25 shillings a day expenses for playing Davis Cup compared to the tens of thousands of dollars players get just for losing the first round of the Australian Open. Andrew asked Frank to name his all-time favourite player and Frank nominated John Bromwich, who was his idol. They traveled and practised together from May to October playing Davis Cup. Frank could never get a set off him, before meeting him in the final of the Australian Open in Adelaide where he not only got that elusive set, but clinched the title in straight sets.

What a treat it was to hear from a legend of Australian tennis and sport, and what a highlight for Geelong Grammar School, GGS Tennis and for our Coach, Andrew Cameron. Andrew presented Frank with the Frank Sedgman Club cap and a visor for Jean. Frank was delighted, as at 93 he needed to “be careful in the sun” and was so impressed with the evening, giving our President Sally Wills a heartfelt thank you for how well it had been organised.

Sally Wills, Kirsty McCartney and coaches

Frank had also surprised us with a signed copy of his biography “Game, Sedge and Match” by Ron Reed, which he had donated to our fundraising (if you can find a copy, it is wonderful!). We gave it away as a lucky door prize, which was drawn by Jean Sedgman and won by current parent, Steph Stanley whose children attend our Toorak Campus. Jean asked if she could then say a few impromptu words because she also wanted to say how delighted she, Frank and Linda were to have been included in such an enjoyable event with happy tennis people.

It is wonderful to have Frank Sedgman’s blessing for the naming rights of our parent support group. If you read about the remarkable story of Frank Sedgman you will never find anything less than words such as “kind and gracious”, “a gentleman of the sport”, “never boastful”, “renowned for his sportsmanship” and “made a wonderful impression all around the world”. We should expect nothing less in choosing a role model for our kids and all sporting clubs. What an honour for us to have Mr Sedgman as our Patron and Namesake of our Club!

In closing, here is another beautiful piece of GGS tennis nostalgia sent in by Naomi Stevens, featuring husband Dave playing tennis for GGS 30 years ago, along with a photo of their son, Henry who is a very promising current Year 7 player for GGS. Dave and Naomi have joined our Committee and how exciting for us to have this link to the past players at our school. Dave is still a passionate player, regularly seen hitting with his family at Kooyong, giving each of his children so much encouragement on and off the court. Let's make the future for Henry and his fellow players as exciting as a young Dave would have hoped for 30 years ago.

David Stevens playing tennis at GGS 30 years ago

David Stevens (Fr'93) playing GGS tennis in 1993

Henry Stevens playing tennis 2020_1

 Henry Stevens (Year 7 Bw) playing GGS tennis in 2020

The Frank Sedgman Club Committee is very grateful for the wonderful support we have had from the GGS tennis parents. We thank all our parent volunteers who have helped to promote and energise The Frank Sedgman Club. We thank our kids for giving us the chance to have so much enjoyment watching their tennis teams and also making friendships with each other - Geelong Grammar parents cheering together as a team for our school. We don’t know what format tennis will take in the 2020/21 season but let's stick together and make the most of anything we get the chance to do, as we work towards a hopeful future for tennis at GGS.

Edition compiled by Sue Lester
Secretary of The Frank Sedgman Club

Tennis Nick and Herbie

FROM
ANDREW CAMERON
HEAD COACH

In the 2019/2020 GGS Tennis Season, the total number of kids playing tennis was 208.

We had 182 kids on Saturday morning plus 26 Year 5s participating in an introduction to Tennis Programme on Wednesday afternoons. This is the highest participation rate of any sport at GGS.

Every one of our other senior and junior teams showed overall improvement in performance and attitude. The 1st Boys at 3rd overall on the APS ladder was the best ever result and the 1st Girls were 7th overall which was still a good result given injuries.

The top Year 8 & Year 10 Boys’ teams were undefeated. The Girls' 2nd had 5 wins and 2 losses, Girls’ Inter A had 3 wins and one loss and the Girls' Year 8 team also had 3 wins and one loss.

Other schools now know that playing GGS on a Saturday means a strong contest.