TWO sports in the small community of Elaine are under the direction of two enthusiastic women Julie Pantzidis is the newly elected president of the Elaine Cricket Club while Jane Farhall has taken on the president’s role at the Elaine Tennis Club. Julie has been involved with the cricket club for a few years and when asked whether she would take up the role she said yes. “I felt that while I was here I may as well try to contribute and help the club grow – just provide somewhere for the kids to play,” she said.
“The club has brought people together over the years – its grown since I came about 5 years ago and a couple of years ago we decided to provide meals, which has brought not just players in but their parents and the community and has become a little hub, I guess, for the community.” Julie is mum to Nicholas ‘Chicka’ Pantzidis, 15, who has thrived at the club and the Ballarat Cricket Association, where he has won the BCA Best and Fairest for the past four years.
“Nick is passionate about cricket and he has come on the committee, as well. “He has asked for the last couple of years but I thought he was too young. This year I thought he is quite mature and has good ideas and always thinks of the club and wants to better it.”
Julie admits that she knew nothing about cricket before her son began playing. “Being in a small club and knowing it needs people to run it and if there is no committed to put the time in, it does not happen –I think if I was in a big club I probably wouldn’t be as involved,” she said.. “Being a small club everyone has the idea of just wanting to provide something for the kids, just get it to grow.
“This year we are really happy with the number of people who wanted to come on the committee, because it takes more than one person to run a club. If you don’t work together as a team it’s not going to happen.”
Jane became involved with the tennis club when her children began playing in 2010.
“I was the manager of the junior team when they first started here and Ian, my husband, has been the treasurer since 2010,” she said. Jane is full of praise of Shane Dunne who she says has put a lot of hard work into the club. “He has been responsible for getting the funding and grants for the tennis court to be resurfaced and also getting new tennis uniforms as well as other things,” she said. “It’s getting harder to get numbers so we will have to get a bit of a recruitment drive going for this year because some of the older kids have dropped off and a couple of kids have moved away from the area, so we just need to do a bit of a drive. We are always happy for new players to join us.” The Elaine Tennis Club is a member of the Buninyong Tennis Association and plays in local competitions, which offers other activities. “I know kids in the last two years have gone to the Australian Open and the Tennis Club subsidised their tickets,” Jane added. “It was very, very good and they wore their uniforms and got some recognition, the kids really enjoyed going to that.”