Pat Anderson serves up happy memories of Sugar Bowl history

Home Hill Tennis icon Pat Anderson has marked another year in which her and her husband’s creation has been celebrated.

Pat, who along with husband Lex, was one of the driving forces behind the Home Hill Sugar Bowl says it was marvellous to see their brain child continuing to drive interest in tennis throughout the region.

“He always just wanted to see tennis go forward all the time, that was his goal in life,” Ms Anderson said.“So he came up with this bright idea of the Sugarbowl and it turned out to be a really great idea. For forty years it’s been running now, it’s just incredible.”

Pat and Lex spent years teaching and training the young guns at Home Hill tennis club, and even with Lex’s passing and her move to Townsville, Pat still feels a strong connection to the event championed by her late husband.

“I’m very happy whenever I hear about it, and I’ve been hearing about it a lot, even from people who don’t play tennis, I’ve heard them talking about the sugar bowl,” Ms Anderson said.“I’ve heard of people from Mackay who are talking to people in Townsville about it, people who haven’t even been tennis players, but they have friends who’ve been for many years.”

“It’s very well known now and it’s great that it’s still such a success after forty years.”

The event regularly draws competitors from across the North Queensland area and even further afield, and this year’s 40th anniversary event was no exception, bringing in a strong raft of competitors who Pat got the chance to meet and congratulate on the day.

“Kylie Neuman who did a wonderful job as an MC, my husband actually coached her in tennis, which is true of a lot of the younger bracket, we taught a lot of them to play tennis in Home Hill, so that’s a very special achievement for us,” Mrs Anderson said.“That’s something we look back on with pride, my husband and I and our helpers, we taught these young people to play tennis.”

“It’s a special feeling, and the trophy I presented was to a young man, the captain of Col’s Crew, and it was so lovely to hand the trophy over to someone you’d coached when they were a lad, that was very special.”

While setting up the inaugural Sugar Bowl was a tough challenge, Mrs Anderson says all the hard work has been worth it after seeing the impact it’s had for so many across the years.

“It’s a very community based and proud little town, Home Hill, the Presidents and secretaries and treasurers did an enormous amount of work and the whole club got behind them,” Mrs Anderson said.

“The last forty years, all the committees have done such a terrific job, but I left very impressed at this most recent one.”“It’s bittersweet having it so tied to Lex, because it’s always tinged with that little bit of sadness, but that’s life, unfortunately.”

Seeing so many familiar faces who were touched by Lex’s commitment to the sport was another positive of the most recent trip to the Home Hill Tennis Club.

“That’s something we look back on with pride, my husband and I and a few helpers, we taught a lot of these younger people to play tennis,” Mrs Anderson said.

“It’s a special feeling and it’s lovely to see generations following through with tennis and keeping the sugar bowl alive.”

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