13 October 2021 | Tennis Victoria

Tennis Victoria Club Development Officer Sam Condon sat down with a legend of community tennis, Lisa Niglia.

Lisa is an exceptional member of the community in Greater Shepparton, and wider Victoria, and has been instrumental to the growth of tennis in that area.

Hailing from Reservoir, Lisa moved to the Goulburn Valley with her husband and three children and joined Dhurringile Tennis Club. She now plays for several tennis clubs in both Regional Victoria and Metro Melbourne.

Between family commitments, tennis volunteering, running her own business, working night shifts at the local hospital and occasionally helping at her husband’s dairy farm, it’s safe to say Lisa is no stranger to hard work!

Her drive and energy are truly inspiring, and despite facing some confronting personal challenges, Lisa shows no signs of slowing down.

“I’m pretty fit, quite the fit person you can think of. I do triathlons, I do very well in my age group having come first, second or in the top ten. But to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer recently, makes you realise that cancer doesn’t discriminate, no matter how fit you are.”

“I do feel positive and good within myself, but it is tough. Mentally tough. If you think you’re struggling on the tennis court, you’re having a tough day – well when you’ve been diagnosed with cancer that’s the ultimate toughness.”

Since her diagnosis, Lisa has donated her hair to charity and has plastered the walls at her gym with posters of Ash Barty.

“A lot of people usually have Arnold Schwartzenegger on their walls, but at my gym, I’ve got Ash Barty.”

“While I was newly diagnosed, she was my inspiration watching her at Wimbledon. And I thought if she can win Wimbledon then I can beat this illness.”

Hear more about Lisa’s inspiring tennis and personal journey, and catch up on the all the Hit Local, Play Global podcast episodes here.