Tennis NSW is continually grateful for the hundreds of volunteers through the state that go above and beyond. As with most sports, tennis would not be able to achieve the success that it does without the hard work and dedication of volunteers.
One such volunteer, Peter Taylor, shares some of his experiences of 50 years volunteering in tennis:
When did you start volunteering in tennis and what got you into it?
The first appointment as a volunteer was Vice-President of Maitland City Tennis Club in February 1964 as a 17-year-old. I had proven myself as a player, assistant coach and in the running of tournaments and the Club President thought me worthy of the opportunity to work with the executive committee as the club membership was growing rapidly. In particular at that early time I wanted to grow the sport in the Hunter Valley. As I grew older I extended that desire to Statewide and Nationally as those opportunities presented themselves.
You volunteered for 50 years in Tennis, what was it that kept you coming back for so many years?
The ongoing reward of volunteer “Job Satisfaction” combined with the desire to take all facets of the game further at local, regional, state and national levels. Opportunities came my way at each of these levels over 53 years and the friendships, camaraderie and personal development all brought huge satisfaction.
Each step and position I held as a volunteer I felt that I was only part of a wonderful team in our sport of tennis.
Throughout your 43 years volunteering in NSW, what was the highlight?
There were many, many highlights working with great people with similar goals as myself. My appointment as the Tennis Announcer at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 was certainly a single highlight, however many highlights occurred as a tournament director at hundreds of tournament days throughout NSW and Australia. Those positions provided, especially junior players, with better opportunities to advance their individual game as well as bringing huge personal satisfaction. NSW Country Championships, The NSW Open, Hunter Valley/Central Coast Inter-district, Coca Cola Bottlers Tennis Classic, McDonalds Junior Tennis Classic and The Jack Crawford Shield are just some of Tennis NSW programs I was heavily involved with.
What are the most important things you have taken from your experience as a volunteer?
My experience as a volunteer in tennis taught me most of all that “The Game is Bigger than the Individual”. Regular teamwork was always a priority in the Tennis NSW Network of Affiliation and Registration. On all occasions I felt I was improving my knowledge of the game, besides developing my personal character. Teamwork, leadership, attention to detail, reliability and promptness in attendance, responsibility, besides ethical and courteous behaviour were all personal character traits I developed from my experiences as a volunteer.
Volunteers are hugely important in tennis, what advice would you give others thinking about volunteering?
Most of all volunteering in tennis provides huge job satisfaction and enjoyment. The more you commit yourself, the higher the rewards that these two areas cover. Simply, Tennis Australia has developed tremendous advancements in the sport for player development, player participation and player opportunities over recent times. To work as a volunteer with Tennis NSW will allow you to share in those opportunities and meet many great people. Essential advice is to be a good listener.