People first began to play tennis in Famagusta during colonial rule. The first tennis court was situated in the woods opposite the Famagusta Judicial Courts and was open only to the British.
The first Greek Tennis Club was established in 1925 under the name of Salamis. The members of the first ever Board were Andreas Michaelides (President), Michalakis Hadjidimitriou (Secretary) and Saveran Saveriades (Treasurer). The first court was a hard court and was situated where later the imposing Famagusta Ladies Lyceum was built. This club’s players often played against its British counterpart, called the English Club.
Salamis ceased operations in 1940 when Greece got involved in World War II and Italian aeroplanes started bombing Famagusta.
When the war ended in 1945, the young members of the Salamis Club convened a General Assembly and elected their first post-war Board made up of Sotos Hadjisoteriou (President), Dinos Panayiotou (Secretary), Nicos Fialas (Treasurer), Fanos Theodotou and Andis Kouzari (Members).
The Board undertook to reopen the Club, fixed the original court and built a second hard court to the east of the G.S.E football stadium.
The Club had to interrupt operations again in 1955 with the start of the Cyprus Liberation Struggle. When it was over, the Club found itself without any courts since the lyceum was built on the original one, while the second was completely destroyed.
In 1960, while the Municipality was considering building a park in front of the First Greek Gymnasium, the Secretary of the Famagusta Tennis Club, Mr Dinos Panayiotou, sent a written proposal to Mayor, Andreas Poyiouros, asking him to help find a place for the construction of a tennis court within the precinct of the park. Mr Pouyiouros replied that they had every intention of doing so, but at a later date and in a different municipal area.
Later, the efforts of the various members, with chief among them being Mr. Nakis Christodoulides and Umberto Mantovani, bore fruit. In 1972 the Famagusta Municipality presented to the Club its first fully floodlit clay courts. Within six months the club’s members reached 110.
Subsequently the club’s constitution was amended and it was registered as a member of the Cyprus Tennis Federation under the name Famagusta Tennis Association.
The Board’s main aim was for more people to learn how to play the game well and for the Association to take part in island-wide as well as international tournaments. Top coach Panos Neofytou was hired whose excellent results became evident in a short period of time, as a number of his students brought good results at the various local tournaments they participated in.
Encouraged by these positive results the Board intended to hire a coach from abroad. Unfortunately that was when the Turkish invasion took place in 1974 and upset their plans.
Like a phoenix from the ashes, the Famagusta Tennis Association was reborn in Limassol. Its Board members were Dinos Panayiotou, Rita Kyriakidou, Elenitsa Mattheou, Louis Savvides, Pavlos Iacovou, Antoni Toumazi and Lia Artemi. In 1982 the Board presented members with two floodlit tennis courts and a clubhouse.
Since then the Famagusta Tennis Association has gone from strength to strength, thanks to the tireless efforts of its President at the time, Dinos Panayiotou and other members. Together they managed to create modern facilities in a pleasant environment in the heart of Limassol. With financial support from various people including Adonis Papadopoulos, Eden Herman, Stelios Mandritis, Nicos Sarris, Costas Kythreotis, as well as funding from the Cyprus Tennis Federation and the Cyprus Sports Association, the Famagusta Tennis Association today has ten artificial grass courts, 2 mini tennis courts, a backboard and a fully equipped gym.
Thanks to his 45 years of contribution to the Famagusta Tennis Association and to tennis in general, the name of Dinos Panayiotou has practically become synonymous with the club. The work that he has achieved is proof of his love and interest in the game and spirit of sports.
Today the Famagusta Tennis Association has 300 playing and 100 regular members. A considerable number of its members are talented players with potential, who train seriously and regularly and aim for achieving results both locally and internationally. A total of eight qualified coaches have been hired in order to support and develop these up and coming players, as well as to satisfy the coaching needs for adults.
For the last six years the Famagusta Tennis Association has repeatedly come up as winner in the inter-club competition, its players continuously being among the top players in all events holding high national singles rankings.