Terranora tennis centre is all about love
PLAYING tennis at her family property near Chinchilla in Queensland as an eight-year-old, Joan Nicoll couldn't have imagined that seven decades later she'd not only still be playing but also have a tennis centre named after her - twice.
The Joan Nicoll Tennis Centre was officially opened at Terranora on October 27, three days after Joan's 79th birthday.
It was a bittersweet moment for the woman who has been involved with Terranora tennis for 40 years - most of those as coach - and came just over two years after the original centre burned down.
"It burned down in 2017 - November 3 - we were all devastated," Joan said.
"It had only been open 12 months before it burned down.
"But we had a reasonable level of insurance and we were able to hold fundraisers and now it's all pretty much finished - we have shade sails to go in but to be able to use the clubhouse as a normal clubhouse again is great."
Not that tennis ever stopped at the Terranora club - the courts were left unharmed by the devastating fire and, with the help of the Tweed Shire Council which put up a shed so members could "make a cuppa" and port-a-loos, the club kept playing.
"We still had the courts and people still went to play," Joan said.
It is the start of a glorious future for the club (with the help of extra security this time around) and hopefully the end of a struggle to survive after the original Terranora Lakes Country Club closed more than two decades ago.
"We were on shaky ground for a few years," Joan said.
"The owners (at the time) had us on a month's lease. We only had a month to get out if it was sold - it's a long haul."
However, despite the hardships, it's obvious that coaching at Terranora has been a passion for Joan - one she misses (mostly).
"I love coaching, I still wish I was younger and could be more involved," she laughed.
"But Not on cold, rainy mornings though," the former Queensland representative player and state number one, added.