Gloucester and District Tennis Association hosts the Gloucester Open AMT and JT competition

What a crowd: The Gloucester Open AMT and JT tennis competition drew a large group of players and spectators to the courts over the long weekend. Picture: Anne Keen
What a crowd: The Gloucester Open AMT and JT tennis competition drew a large group of players and spectators to the courts over the long weekend. Picture: Anne Keen

Every October long weekend, Gloucester welcomes tennis players from all over Australia to compete in a four-day event.

The Gloucester and District Tennis Association has hosted the Gloucester Open AMT (Australian Money Tournament) and JT (Junior Tour) for more than 40 years.

The event is sanctioned by Tennis Australia, which means the players earn points toward their national rankings. There’s also more than $3000 of prize money up for grabs.

Event organised, Ruth Johnson said the tennis association has to make a bid to hold the event with Tennis Australia every year.

This year saw 290 players, both adults and juniors, with 550 matches played over the weekend. All the courts in town were used, including the clay courts and the courts at Gloucester High School. Play started at midday on Friday, September 30 and continued daily from 8am to 9.30pm, with the finals held on Monday.

The JT section was divided into age categories; 12, 14, 16 and 18, while the AMT had adults playing in mens and womens singles and doubles.There was also a B Grade competition, a social event and a parent and child event.

All the food was organised, cooked and served by the 20 volunteers, who also assisted with organising the players and working the grounds. Some even donated the baked goods that were sold in the canteen.

“There are competitors that have been coming to this event for years,” Ruth said.

“It’s such a good boost for the town, with all the players, family and friends staying for the weekend.”

We always get positive feedback about how wonderful Gloucester is.

Ruth Johnson

Ruth said some players book their accommodation a year in advance, others were calling her last minute trying to find somewhere to stay because everything was booked out.

“We always get positive feedback about how wonderful Gloucester is and what a beautiful place it is.”