It’s fair to say Hawke’s Bay tennis dynamo Sarah Shand has seldom looked back on a Rotorua luge accident almost two decades ago with any degree of fondness until now.
“That accident and a bad dislocation forced me to lose major use of my legs. That’s why I’m more of a volunteer these days than a player,” Shand said as she reflected on winning of Tennis New Zealand’s Volunteer of the Year award at the national body’s awards function in Auckland at the weekend.
Like most volunteers Greendale’s Shand, who last played tennis almost three decades ago when she was in her 20s on her OE at the Holland Park club in England, got involved in volunteer work for the code when her sons Hamish and Andrew took up tennis at Crownthorpe School in 2004.
However, it was the work she did during her second year as club president last year which won her the award. Her biggest project was overseeing the installation of three new plexi-cushioned courts at a cost of $120,000
“Andrew and other Hawke’s Bay junior reps were going to tournaments and regularly losing their first round matches because there weren’t enough hard courts here in Hawke’s Bay to get regular play on,” Shand said, pointing to her 18-year-old son who will leave the country on Thursday to begin a four-year NCAA division two tennis scholarship at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia and pursue a four-year degree in sports management.
Photo: Greendale Tennis Club president Sarah Shand reflects on her success at the national body’s awards function in Auckland. Photo/Paul Taylor
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Posted: 11 January 2018