The organising committee of Le Tour de Tennis Waiheke and the tennis club will be officially handing over approximately $20,000 to Waiheke Health Trust in early December following their third annual fundraising tournament held on Saturday 12 November. The funds will go towards replacing at least one of the older two trust vehicles used to service the community with specialist community nursing, Well Child (Tamariki Ora), home care and support, occupational therapy and Meals on Wheels.
In 2018 a group of tennis friends hatched the concept around the dinner table says committee member Fiona Pilling. “Wouldn’t it be fun to create a tour across private tennis courts over the island?” Google Earth research and letters left in mailboxes were used to find the courts and to connect with the property owners to whom they successfully pitched their idea.
When a family member returned home to the island after a long hospital stay, the extensive work undertaken by the Health Trust became evident. “We saw first-hand what a wonderful job the community nurses do,” says Fiona. Discussions with the Health Trust revealed that the vehicles the nurses used were very old, struggling to make it up some of the driveways and often breaking down. The tournament committee thought raising funds for an electric vehicle to enable nurses to safely get around the island caring for residents was a great fit with their concept of tennis players touring the island playing on private courts. • Sarah Gloyer and Fiona Pilling