Gympie woman awarded Queensland tennis veteran of the year
GYMPIE Cooloola Veterans Tennis secretary Kym Ireland has been awarded the Queensland Veteran of the Year Award for her efforts on and off the court.
Ireland was eligible for the award due to her dedication to the sport in representing Queensland and Australia, serving as secretary of the local tennis centre for three years and being an Australian selector and member of the Sunshine Coast veterans' tennis committee.
"Winning the award was totally unexpected and quite an honour," she said this week.
Two other members of the Gympie club - former club secretaries Col Arnell and his son Warren - have received the award in previous years.
Ireland said she had played for Queensland for the last seven years and represented Australia five years ago in Mexico but was unable to compete the following year in New Zealand due to illness.
In Mexico she played some of the world's best, winning the consolation singles and securing bronze with her partner in the doubles.
For the last three years injury has been an obstacle, but before this Ireland was ranked number one with her doubles partner in Queensland and in the top 10 for singles.
Since her recent hip replacement she is physically finding it hard to take the court but it has not stopped her from looking to the Australian titles next January in Shepparton, Victoria, and the seniors world championships in Finland in June.
Getting back on the court will not be easy but if anyone can do it, she can.
Ireland has been playing tennis since she could hold a racquet at age two, and grew up in a family where everyone played.
"I was the only one who really continued in the sport," she said.