Local tennis identities John and Athalie Lock were awarded life membership of the Inman Valley Tennis Club

LOCAL IDENTITIES: John and Athalie Lock were awarded life membership of the Inman Valley Tennis Club.
LOCAL IDENTITIES: John and Athalie Lock were awarded life membership of the Inman Valley Tennis Club.

In tennis news John and Athalie Lock were awarded Inman Valley Tennis Club Life Membership

Local tennis identities John and Athalie Lock were awarded life membership of the Inman Valley Tennis Club last Sunday afternoon at a gathering of past and present members.

While Athalie had previously played for Inman as a junior, it was in 1964 when she and John rejoined the club and took on many voluntary roles as well as being outstanding contributors on the court.

Athalie served as club secretary from 1984-1991 and club president from 1996-99 and was a driving force for the social functions catering committee in the mid 1980's.

This group raised money leading to the construction of new courts in 1985 and the present day clubrooms in 1988.

Athalie had a distinguished career on court where she played in several premiership teams and took out the ladies Inman club championship on six occasions and was runner-up a further three occasions.

"While volunteering my time for catering functions may have seemed like work with many nights finishing after midnight, I never saw it as that and was just happy to contribute to the club," Athalie said.

John was club secretary from 1974-78 and president from 1980-82 and his hands on practical acumen is evident on the major infrastructure projects of clubrooms, fencing, courts and the surrounding grounds.

John has also provided astute training advice for younger players coming through the ranks and has put in immeasurable amount hours of volunteering his time for the sake of the club.

On court was where 'Locky' really shone.

A genuine top level player of the association, John's name was well renowned among his opponents across all clubs.

With weapons of a big serve, attacking forehand and laser precision volleys, John was extremely hard to beat and it proved to be in the club championships where John won no more than a record 19 titles and was runner-up another seven times; a record that is likely to stand the test of time.

Into his 80's, John is finally easing up (something he'd never do on the court!) and conceded he'll just be a 'fill in' this season, but he did note in his acceptance speech that he believes he has played at least 58 consecutive seasons of tennis, a feat in itself.

"Playing tennis has given me the opportunity every Saturday to get away from work on the farm, catch up with friends and also meet new people from opposing clubs from different walks of life, something that I valued greatly," John said.

John and Athalie join previous recipients Ron Lillecrapp and Mr and Mrs O.K Prouse as life members since the club's formation in 1904.

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