A dedicated group of tennis players have spent the past few years taking to the courts of the Hampstead Tennis Club for social play and a laugh, sometimes up to three times a week.
On any given day, they can have up to 13 players on the courts, or courtside, and eager to play.
Many like veteran players Reg Donaldson, and his brother Gilbert, have played for decades but others, like former post office workers Bevin Stanger and Rod Green, have only taken up the sport in the past few years.
Reg Donaldson, a life member of the club, has played tennis since 1946.
He was club president in 1957 when it changed, after the amalgamation of the town’s two high schools, and went from being the Ashburton Technical School Tennis Club to the Hampstead Tennis Club.
He, along with brother Gilbert, played as youngsters and it’s something he still enjoys.
Rod Green used to drive past the players on court when he was on his postal run and once he retired popped along too.
He eventually introduced his former workmate, Bevin Stanger to the club, after he retired from his postie bike run around five years ago.
Bevin jokes he is one of the younger social players but there is a 60-year age range of players from those in their 30s through to veteran players in their 90s.
Sandra Holloway has played tennis on and off since 1976 and is also a Hampstead regular.
There are up to 40 members who play social tennis and on good days, there can be four or five courts in play and players always having a laugh, she said.
But not all members turn up to every session; it can depend on other activities or the weather.
They play in doubles, all year round, from 1pm to 3pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and rotate players so everyone gets to play.
They all agree it offers a good bit of exercise and a great social outing.