Tennis addict Peggy keeps on keeping on
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
RENOWNED just as much for her 'wicked' sense of humour as her ability on the court, Peggy Gibson has been a much-loved member of the Gladstone District Tennis Association for about 30 years.
More than a pastime, tennis is a way of life for the sprightly 72-year-old who still plays fixtures tennis and gives her opponents a run for their money in third division competition.
Born in Gladstone, Peggy followed her father into tennis as a youngster in Nagoorin where her family moved when she was aged nine.
She continued to live in the Boyne Valley town until marrying at the age of 22 and although she described life in Nagoorin as 'wonderful' she is just as happy to call Gladstone home.
Gibson's tennis career was put on hold for about 30 years before health concerns forced her on to the pension in the mid-1970s but allowed her to return to the sport she loved.
'I started playing socially with some friends and they said 'why don't you play (fixtures)' so I did,' Peggy says. 'I love my tennis and I've made a lot of good friends through it.
"It was great about 20 years ago in Gladstone when it was so crowded down at the courts.
'We'd have a few drinks before going home. Often I'd get a lift home, we'd get changed and then go out to dinner.'
Peggy's love affair with the sport continues this year, having signed up for Tuesday night fixtures which started last week.
She will also return to the second season of Monday fixtures when conditions will be a bit cooler.
Anyone who looks at the Gladstone Closed Championships honours board at the GDTA clubhouse can't help but notice the name 'P. Gibson' etched into the timber at regular intervals.
'I've won the closed championships third division women's title 10 times and won the open (tournament) singles on my 50th birthday,' Gibson says.
'That's just the singles, there's lots of doubles and mixed doubles titles too.'
These facts are shared, not in a boastful fashion, but with a genuine delight that she has been able to take some precious memories from her involvement in tennis ? the sport to which she has remained steadfastly loyal.
'I've only ever played tennis, I love the game that much,' she says by way of explaining why no other sport had captured her services, although she used to enjoy watching her sons play rugby league and still watches NRL matches on television.
Peggy said she not only enjoyed playing with her peers but also got a kick out of watching other club members she first met as children grow into young adults.
And she will see plenty more come through the ranks if she has her way, with no intentions to put down her racquet in a hurry.
'I'll keep playing until they tell me to go...and then I'll still play socially,' she affirms.