In my last article published in the local leader section, December 20, 2019 entitled 'The future is a question', I stated that service clubs, churches etc have done so much for society over many decades, but they are, in the main, failing to attract a new and young generation into service.
I qualified this statement by saying that the failure may be attributed to a lack of forward planning by governance or to a lack of interest by the younger generation.
These statements drew acknowledgement from many in the community that thought, though sad, was true.
Today, I want to put a positive light on community involvement and share with you an insight into what is happening at the Stawell Tennis Club.
This is a club that continues to defy the odds and is thriving when others are facing uncertain futures.
They do this because of great forward-thinking, leadership and a willingness to step out of its comfort zone, so that all who enter may enjoy a greater, more rewarding tennis experience, whether as a spectator, parent or player.
I believe that there are around 210 paid-up members and further to this, another 100 or more juniors - great figures indeed.
These people all enjoy playing on the 12 synthetic courts that are available and can now do so under lights.
Club president Andrew tells me that the club actively encourages and pursues the involvement of children because they are seen as the club's future.
Saturday's Hot Shots program provides 45 minutes of expert coaching to the junior members.
Non-club members can join this program by paying a pro-rata fee.
If this doesn't suit, then one-on-one coaching can be organised through the week, or you can join in on Monday or Friday night's set coaching programs.
What I did find encouraging in my talk with club president Andrew was that the parents of the club's children support the club by attending and helping with their child's tennis club sporting and development activities.
This I find to be very encouraging because many parents traditionally would use this sort of time as a dump and run break.
A big part of the club's policy is to pursue grants that enhance the local tennis experience for both the players and spectators.
I am told that the club recently received a grant to install a substantial amount of shade sails so that the spectators can be protected from the sun.
This is great forward-thinking.
What I do find amazing with this club is that you can hire its facilities and through private agreements pay for that privilege by instalments.
I believe that the Stawell Tennis Club should be congratulated for its contribution to the health and happiness of not only the children of this shire but also for the role it plays in creating a healthy community.
As the pastor of City Heart Church of Christ, I know a lot of the need to grow the spiritual side of our healthy living, but through studying the Stawell Tennis Club I have gained a better understanding of the commitment they have to better sport-based physical and mental health and happiness.