A.R.A. La Gantoise T.C.

A.R.A. La Gantoise (Royal Gent Athletic Club), a sports club focusing its energies on Law Tennis from the time of its formation, was founded on 1 January 1864.
Little tennis was played there for the first twenty-five years. Basically, the game was confined to beginners.

In 1889, the year we celebrated our Golden Jubilee, we were honoured at being allowed to host demonstration matches which Gent’s Borough Council graciously sponsored and against whom English players from Courtrai and T.C. Lille competed. It was they who formed the core group of future players.

Initially, matches were played on private courts only. However, the club also had a court in Akkergemlaan (Avenue Akkergem). Two courts in the garden of the “Philarmonie” were put at our disposal in 1894.

In 1895, Georges Vanderstegen, Chairman-Founder of our particular section, represented the AAG (Ghent Athletics Club), a component entity of the Champions Committee, as part of the Belgian Union of Athletics Clubs. We moved from the “Philarmonie” in 1902 to use three concrete courts in Mussenstraat while helping to lay the foundations of the Belgian Lawn Tennis League.

Cement was replaced by asphalt in 1905. We built six courts in ground brick in 'Albertlaan '. A.JS and F won the Flanders Junior Championships

It was in 1912 that the first interclub championship took place and the finals saw us compete against the Lille T.C.,who took part on the Belgian championships in those days. Andre Flaget was awarded the trophy as Belgium’s Junior Champion in 1913.

1913 was World Fair Year and “A.A. La Gantoise” was invited to organise all the sporting events, i.a. the Belgian Championship won by Watson. Friendly matches were played against the Beerschot A.C., the the Liege T.C. , the Brussels L.T., the Leopold C.B. together with a number of clubs in France, England and the Netherlands.

The Belgian Lawn Tennis League was dissolved in 1914 and once again, we found A.R.A. La Gantoise (Gent Athletics Club) among the fourteen founder-member clubs of the Belgian Lawn Tennis League. Armand Van Der Noot served on our club’s first committee chaired by Armand Solvay.
We celebrated our Golden Jubilee in May 1914. We were the first on whom His Majesty the King of the Belgians conferred the title of “Royal Society”. That was the time when tennis was becoming increasingly popular with the ladies who played on the courts in full-length dress, complete with hats and coloured ribbons.

A.A.G. 1864-1989 gedenkboek - Livre d’Or 1902-1952 F.R.B de Lawn Tennis.