Sophie Bullivant is thrilled to be giving a helping hand at what she describes "the best" sporting tournament in Warrnambool.
Bullivant, 31, is one of around 90 volunteers set to fill 150 shifts over the three-day Warrnambool Lawn Open starting Saturday. The event is Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club's biggest event of the year, with more than 880 entries over three days of play.
Bullivant, who grew up playing tennis at the Warrnambool grasscourts, would typically be found on court each year, joining her father Lindsay in a doubles pair. But after the birth of her first child - a boy Henry - in January, Bullivant is taking her talents off-court and helping in a volunteer capacity.
Bullivant will have the honour of presenting trophies to this year's winners following finals on Monday.
"Everyone helps out where they can, so I'm doing what I can," she said. "Between a baby and helping out here, I think it will be a busy weekend."
Tennis runs in Bullivant's blood, with her late grandfather Dean Billing a past resident coach at Warrnambool. Mum Jenny has helped in the kitchen for years, while dad Lindsay is the club's co-treasurer.
"She's always down here helping," Bullivant said of Jenny. "And dad plays... and is always helping somewhere."
Bullivant, who is also on the committee as its communication leader, said she had wanted to help more year-round rather than at one-off tournaments. She praised the club for engaging more people onto its committee.
"It always seemed like a few people were on it (committee) so it's nice they've got more roles, and we know what we're doing," he said.
Volunteer leader Sarah Milroy said this weekend's tournament had a 10-person team (up from three last year) in place to manage the event, with Lisa Austin and Ros Turner organising volunteer sign-up.
A new online system which allows for easy sign up has been well received by volunteers.
"Before it was just pen and paper, or text message," Milroy said.
Milroy said the more help the club had during the tournament, the more it could put on for competitors and spectators. Several non-tennis events will also run during the tournament, including Cold Culture sessions - an ice bath program - as well as pilates classes and a kids zone.
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