When the Bendigo Tennis Club was founded back in 2020 the aim was simple - be different.
"We are proud that we don't do anything like a normal tennis club," BTC president Damien Saunder said.
"We all love the sport and are happy that every time we get on court it brings us together."
The club was born from a group of players that would meet every Thursday night for a friendly match.
Over time the vision was born to create a new club within central Victoria that embraces a wide-range of participants.
Looking back on the past 18 months since its inception, Saunder couldn't be prouder of what the club has already achieved.
"Honestly we've been blown away by the growth of our club as we are now just shy of having 120 members," he said.
"What makes it even better is a large portion of our member-base play one or two times per week which is great for our overall engagement.
"Our members include juniors, families and even folks in their mid 60s - we have players at every level of the game.
"That's what we strive to achieve, an environment where everyone is included and happy to say they are a member of the BTC."
In the way of the club's motto of doing things differently, recently held were the club championships which were played under a unique format during a non-traditional time of the year.
Over the course of several weeks members competed within a round robin tournament that saw more than 90 matches played across three divisions.
At the conclusion of the pool stage the field was reduced down to one championship match per division - with the singles finals being held last week at the Bendigo Regional Tennis Centre.
In division one Simon Baker defeated Brad Heyme in straight sets 7-6 6-4 to secure the championship.
It was a similar story in division two with Clinton Shelly taking two sets 6-4 6-2 over Simon Flood to secure victory.
Alex Chapman and Buddhi Wickramasinghe had a big clash on Saturday to decide the division three title.
Wickramasinghe started out strong taking the first set 3-6 over Chapman.
However, Chapman quickly responded by securing the next two sets 6-3 11-9 to seal the division three title.
Chapman, who was a keen player for Mitiamo in the Loddon Valley, has only been playing tennis for a year or so and has embraced being part of the BTC.
"After I finished playing footy I was asked by the BTC to come down and play," he said.
"I am really enjoying it as it's been great to have that competitive outlet back."
Wickramasinghe also embraced having the opportunity to play in the club championships.
"Honestly, it's really awesome," he said.
"I haven't played singles for a while but to have this tournament organised by the club at this time of the year has been great.
"It's been exciting as all of the games in the lead up to the final were all very close."
Saunder said the response from the club toward the club championships being held during the colder months had been well-received.
"Hats off to everyone as we've played through COVID-19, the flu, wet weather and even some injuries," he said.
"We were able to get through all of the matches and celebrate the efforts of all the players who were involved."
In addition, the BTC also raised more than $1000 in the process to support the Bendigo Night Shelter.
For further information on joining the Bendigo Tennis Club please visit http://www.bendigotennisclub.com/about/.
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