The seven tennis courts, which, like every spring, have been given a new surface made of fresh red brick dust, look as if they have been peeled off the egg. The replacement of the coating takes several weeks and can only be started when the nights are frost-free. During the winter season, players from the Hennigsdorf Tennis Club had to move to the Hall, some in Hennigsdorf and some in Berlin. On Saturday, the long-awaited start of the season could finally be celebrated at the facility behind Fair Play. Club president Christine Schmidt raised the champagne glass filled with orange juice and wished the players a good season with good results. In addition, it is also about the sense of community among tennis fans, which can turn off everyday stress on the court. Even in times of many shocking news, it is important to find some distance to world events, Christine Schmidt explains.
Being affiliated with a club creates a sporting balance, but also the safe feeling of always finding someone to talk to. So it is not uncommon for some members to look past half an hour shortly after work, even though there is not enough time for an entire match. You can also train alone on ball walls. “The facility is now open from Monday to Sunday, so you can come for training or general exchange at any time,” says Christine Schmidt. Before the start of the season, a general meeting was held again this year. Nico Toth and Branko Batinic have been named as the new marshals. The club, which has 158 members, has eight teams. Nico Toth is especially proud of the successes of the men’s 40 and men’s 60 who play in the upper league. Women 30 also play in the association league.
In addition, there are four children’s teams with a total of 50 children, the youngest players are five and six years old. As a starting point, you can play tennis from the age of four, explains the club chairman, who wants to expand the club. “We wanted enough space for 250 members,” she says. The contribution is 180 euros per year, for children 60 euros. Branko Batinic would be happy to inspire even more young players to the sport. “Football is still number 1 for children in our region,” said the sporting director. The oldest tennis player is already 82. Peter Berger is affectionately known as “Netroller Peter”, which he accepts with a smile. “If anyone makes a lot of net rolls, it’s our Peter,” Branko Batinic lovingly explains. In 1979, Peter Berger switched from football to tennis and also experienced several promotions during the GDR era.
The association has a long tradition, was founded in 1926 as a company sports group by AEG and established in 1992 as a non-profit, registered association. The successes include GDR team championships and individual successes up to a European Championship title. The club’s 100th birthday is not far away. New sportswear for the tennis club is being designed.
This year’s first points matches in May
With the summer season, which – depending on the weather conditions – is expected to last until November, the unity is strengthened again. Many members have not seen each other all winter, but have kept in touch through social media. The club is also active on Instagram. Now it’s time to get in shape again, for the first league games come in May. The tennis players in Oberhavel want to network even more with each other. There are plans for a stronger collaboration with the club in Hohen Neuendorf. “We could well imagine friendly matches,” says Nico Toth, who is active in the men’s 40s. The men over 40 are especially proud of their coach Gino Gerwin, reigning men’s 40-time champion in Berlin, who has coached the Hennigsdorf team since last season.
By Wiebke Wollek