Nelson Bay Tennis Club hosting Dave Matthews Seniors Tennis Tournament December 4-6

ORGANISERS: Dave Matthews Seniors Tennis Tournament director Steve Taylor with Nelson Bay Tennis Club secretary Cheryl Moss.

ORGANISERS: Dave Matthews Seniors Tennis Tournament director Steve Taylor with Nelson Bay Tennis Club secretary Cheryl Moss.

Any doubt Nelson Bay Tennis Club might of had in deciding to forge ahead with the Dave Matthews Seniors Tennis Tournament this year was immediately quashed when it opened registrations.

The club has been flooded with 211 entries in just a few short weeks, and is anticipating more registrations as the tournament dates of December 4 to 6 draws near.

"It's shaping up to be one of the busiest, if not the busiest, tournaments we've ever had," tournament director Steve Taylor said.

"There was some worry that we wouldn't be able to run the tournament this year because of COVID-19. If the restrictions hadn't of eased, we wouldn't have. We made the decision on October 1 to go ahead with it and to date we have received 211 entries.

"I think a lot of people are grateful that they have a tournament to look forward to, that they can get away to the Bay for a few days. There's typically about 40 seniors tournaments held a year. This year there's only about 10, including ours."

The tournament for players aged 35 and above typically attracts 225 people.

Nelson Bay tennis courts will be the centre of action across the three days of competition, which will kick off about 7.30am on the Friday and wrap up on Sunday afternoon.

Games will also be played at the courts in Shoal Bay, Soldiers Point and Fingal Bay.

RETURN SERVE: The Dave Matthews Seniors Tennis Tournament returns to the Bay December 4 to 6. Pictures: Ellie-Marie Watts

RETURN SERVE: The Dave Matthews Seniors Tennis Tournament returns to the Bay December 4 to 6. Pictures: Ellie-Marie Watts

The Dave Matthews Shield will be played for at the Nelson Bay courts on Saturday about 1pm. It is a men's doubles event. Last year the shield was won by Scott Baker and Michael Fitzgerald.

Taylor said one of the main reasons why the club has been able to run its competition this year is due to the number of people who have volunteered to act as COVID marshals and enforce the club's COVID plan for a safe tournament.

A COVID-safe plan has been drawn up for each of the four competition venues. There will be two marshals at three of the courts, and more at the Nelson Bay courts due to its larger size.

"Without that support from volunteers the tournament wouldn't be going ahead," Taylor said.

Taylor said the only difference to the tournament this year is that there would be no exhibition match to kick it off.

Due to the large size of the Nelson Bay and Fingal Bay courts, and the ability for people to distance themselves, spectators are welcome to watch games at these venues but not the Shoal Bay or Soldiers Point courts.