The Australian Open trophies have been touring Victoria, making a stop at Surf Coast Tennis Club.
The Norman Brooks Challenge Cup (men's trophy) and the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup (women's) have made their way around Victoria ahead of next month's Australian Open, beginning on January 17.
The trophy tour is a great opportunity for regional tennis clubs to get up close to the coveted trophies and is a great initiative by Tennis Victoria.
Surf Coast Tennis Club president Sam Rogers can vouch for that, with last Friday's experience a memorable one for the club, particularly off the back of a challenging 18 months.
Rogers said the day exceeded his expectations with around 150 people attending. Casual hitting, a speed gun, jumping castle and of course the trophies made for a great day.
"It was kind of like an open day but with the trophies there it was obviously extra special," Rogers told The First Serve.
"There were way more people than I expected."
The trophy began its journey on November 15, visiting nine clubs, and will now return home to Melbourne before heading to the Tennis Victoria inter-regionals in Horsham on January 7-9.
Rogers said it was a proud day to see the club host the Australian Open trophies, but also gave him and fellow committee members the reinforcement that the club was tracking in the right direction.
"I don't know exactly how many clubs they go to ... but some of the other clubs they'd been to were the lawn courts in Warrnambool, they're quite a big venue and the day before they'd been up in the indoor centre in Bendigo and that's quite a big regional club as well. So for us to be alongside some of those clubs seems like a really positive step forward for the club.
"Being seen as a big club and having lots of options for people to play tennis, it's really positive.
"When you're involved and on the committee, that's what you want. It sounds a bit cliché, but you're not just there to cut up the memberships and make sure there's a new fence, you want to grow the club and make it better for the next group of people."
The trophy tour also visited Echuca Lawn Tennis Club, Murrabit Lawn, Koondrook Lawn, Swan Hill Lawn, Wangaratta Hardcourt Tennis Association, Wodonga Tennis Centre, Tennis Ballarat and Warrnambool Lawn.