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Globe Tennis Club celebrate their 60th anniversary

Globes mens doubles finalists (from left): Andrew Rozanov, Gaddo Guidotti, Gleb Toropov and Warwick Foy. Globes mens doubles finalists (from left): Andrew Rozanov, Gaddo Guidotti, Gleb Toropov and Warwick Foy.

By Sarah Bassett
Saturday, July 19, 2014
11:45 AM

Globe Lawn Tennis Club commemorated their 60th anniversary at the weekend, providing a welcome opportunity to look back at their rich history and an inclusive ethos which has made it what it is today.

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Located on Haverstock Hill in Belsize Park, the club’s official inception came on June 30 1954 – and the circumstances under which it was formed were not the most straightforward, or jovial.

All of the other local, established clubs in the 1950s implemented strict admission rules, where they would discriminate against race, colour and religion.

As a result, those individuals who were shunned from the existing clubs in the area united together to play amongst themselves.

These anomalies of the social hierarchy, as well as natives of a more accepting disposition, began to regularly convene and play on a set of 16 public courts, which were available to hire.

This became an increasingly frequent occurrence and so it was eventually decided that a tournament be organised and a club should be formed. Subsequently, a number of the courts were hired on a permanent basis.

The initial member count of the newly-fashioned, hotchpotch club numbered 64, with these participants hailing from more than 20 nations.

The amenities they had to work with left a lot to be desired – the group were forced to play on very poor courts and the clubhouse was a decrepit, wooden shack without toilets or showers. Meanwhile, racism was an inescapable part of urban life.

However, the members of the original Globe LTC came to find solace together through their mutual love of tennis – and the very name of the club stemmed from the multinational, united nature of the founding members.

The cosmopolitan, inclusive ethos was something that was embraced and the members found true and lasting friendships that endured despite the prejudices they faced off the court.

Even today, the club is proud to advocate the assortment of cultures of its tennis players – there are now around 300 members from five years old to mid-80s, with 40 different languages being spoken.

Club president Anna Lee has been a member for 40 years and she proudly said: “We have kept the spirit from the 1950s. We want, and we have, an international club where everybody is welcome.”

Globe celebrated their history with an event on Saturday night, and Lee added: “We had a grand party with a marquee where there were speeches and awards in front of the 110 attendees. There was dancing and it was all a great way of commemorating.

“I really hope that in 40 years, many people who attended the do will be there to throw a great party for the centenary anniversary celebrations.”

Membership secretary Jane Singer added: “With membership at 300, the Globe continues to flourish. We have a thriving junior section and successful men’s and ladies teams.

“Celebrating 60 years is a wonderful achievement and we are thankful to our members, who make it a truly fantastic club.”

There has been much to be proud of on the court as well. Globe recently won the Middlesex Cup, beating Queen’s Club in the final – and they held their annual club finals day on Saturday, to coincide with the anniversary celebrations.

Gaddo Guiddoti won the men’s singles title, beating Gleb Toropov in the final. However, the roles were reversed in the men’s doubles final with Toropov and Warwick Foy overcoming Guidotti and Andrew Rozanov.

Ryoko Yomoda defeated Emma Weissen to win the women’s singles crown, while the ladies’ and mixed doubles finals are still to be played.

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