By Em Hazeldean
The award came at a ceremony at Optus Stadium last week.
The award’s criteria included having a healthy court-to-member ratio, the promotion of social integration and inclusion as well as being able to demonstrate an inviting club atmosphere.
Club President Terry Fraser says friendliness hasn’t always been one of the club’s strong points, but it’s the one thing he would boast about now.
He and his wife have been involved with the club for 30 years. They’d been on the receiving end of the unfriendly culture over the years and were determined to change that culture when Fraser became president six years ago.
“We’ve worked really hard to be friendly, to be welcoming to people no matter what your status is,” he says.
“We had a strategic review that identified that we needed to become a community, and we did pretty much overnight.
“Now we’re like your favourite coffee shop where you’re welcomed by name and you just feel good after you go there. Our club is a place where people love to come now.”
The club has also been recognised by the City of Rockingham, at its Sports Star Awards last month, as a finalist in both the Club of the Year and Volunteer of the Year awards.
The club achieved a top five place out of 130 other sports clubs in the City of Rockingham.
Toni Bellingham won the Volunteer Achievement Award for the club at the Industry awards.
She’s been involved in tennis across Australia, but says the Safety Bay club is the most inclusive.
“Some of the people I’ve met through the club have become my closest friends, we’ve got a really welcoming community,” she says.
Toni is currently organising the club’s open day and has secured the Hopman Cup trophy for members of the public to view on the day.