'Mr Tennis' scores an ace

By LAURIE SULLIVAN TERRY WOODS, the 'Mr Tennis' of East Lismore, has been awarded Tennis NSW's highest award.

And, he's a little embarrassed.

"Awards like this are really recognition of a hard-working committee rather than the individual," said Mr Woods, president of East Lismore Tennis Club.

"The award is a credit to them. While it's important to provide good facilities, we treat all members as equal and that helps to maintain harmony."

It's probably the reason why the club has raised its membership to around 100 while the number of people playing the game in Australia has dipped slightly in that time.

"The courts are used every day by a wide variety of people from learners, to A grade players, to social players.

"Along with the adjacent bowling and soccer clubs, the tennis club is at the hub of the East Lismore sporting community."

Mr Woods received the Norm O'Neill Memorial Award for outstanding services to tennis at the Tennis NSW 2006/07 annual awards in Forster.

"Terry's personal efforts have gone above and beyond his area of responsibility and help to grow the sport," said Tennis NSW president, John Whittaker.

There was also a strong Southern Cross University connection at the awards as two former students of the Department of Exercise Science and Sport Management also achieved recognition. They were Leon Carriage, Junior Development Program of the Year (Milton/Ulladulla) and Justin Sheriff, Development Centre of the Year, (Armidale) Mr Wood ranked the upgrading of the club's four courts at a cost of $60,000 and a Department of Sport and Recreation award in 2000 for creating a safe environment for members as among the major achievements during his 19 years in the club, 14 as president.

Tennis for Terry is a family affair: His partner Nerida O'Neill is the club's treasurer.

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