The Madras CC has always been about playing, competing and enjoying the camaraderie and sportsmanship of a bygone era, not about winning and losing.
It pioneered South Indian Tennis, Squash and Hockey. From the early Tennis champions like Nigel Jones and later ones like C. Ramaswami, K. P. Lakshmana Rao and T. B. Balagopal, and more recent ones who became world figures like Ramanathan Krishnan and Ramesh Krishnan or Asian champions like Lakshmi Mahadevan, they’ve all played in the club spirit at the club.
Learning their game from the unforgettable Kuppan, S. A. Ispahani went on to become world squash racquets no. 4 and Meyyappan Junior and M. M. Murugappan made a mark on the national scene. Two renovated, refloored courts and an up-to-date glass back-walled court have since made the club the major squash center in the south.
And hockey which was played to keep fit for cricket has resulted not only in the oldest hockey tournament in South India, but major contributions to the game by men who showed the way, like Robert Summerhayes and Robert Denniston. R. C. Summerhayes of Oxford and the Madras Cricket Club was the famous center-half of the chocolate-and-golds in the twenties who gave Indian Hockey – and the world – the push stroke, the lunged tackle and the through pass to the wing. But it was the Johnstone brigade who epitomized the spirit of Chepauk, playing a game for gentlemen and not grouches. A game to be enjoyed, not toiled at for its riches.
Today, the club offers several other sports facilities. A Billiards Room, an air-conditioned Badminton court of tournament standard, a swimming pool and gymnasium. But even as the facilities for sport have increased, a growing membership is also offered still more amenities and a greater variety of food, frolic and entertainment befitting a social club. Slowly, a sports club has metamorphosed into a social club, but one where a greater contribution is made to promoting sport in the city. The spirit of Chepauk lives on in surroundings where both sport and socialising are seen as all in the game.