Leatherhead’s Chairman Nigel Turner talks about what a great asset he is to the club.
When did you first meet Kevin?
Kevin has been a member of the club since the 1970s - some of our honorary members will remember him from those days! He's an active guy and doesn't look his age - and we don't keep details of our member’s ages - so he was 'under the radar' for some time! But I became aware that he was a bit special when one of our members discovered he had a world ranking. His best position was 45- in men's singles in September 2016. He must have been 88 then and this was the over 85 category. Sadly, they don't have an over 90category!
"Imagine this...when Kevin hit 65, he still had more than 25 years of tennis ahead of him"
What positive effect on your club does Kevin have with his passion to keep playing?
Kevin's pretty inspirational. Most of us 'getting older' players aspire to play through our 70s. Some of the lucky ones make it into their early 80s. Kevin's pushed out the target by taking it into his 90's. Imagine this...when Kevin hit 65, he still had more than 25 years of tennis ahead of him.
How does Kevin integrate into the club?
Kevin's a good participator. As well as coming to club sessions a couple of times a week, he also attends some of our social events. When it comes to tennis, Kevin knows that his mobility isn't what it used to be. So, he picks the club sessions where he's most likely to provide a balanced game. Many of these are facilitated by our coaches who ensure balanced pairings.
Kevin also knows when to hold back or drop out of a potential four. When he and I play together, he tends to cover the net and I'll take the baseline. That works pretty well. I think that amongst our older members, or when playing against older members with lower mobility, the nature of the game changes. A younger player gets minimal satisfaction from a scorching shot that the opposition cannot possibly physically get to, so really focused play becomes more important for getting the most out of the set.
Founded back in the 1960s, Leatherhead Tennis Club is a friendly club and has been operating for over 50 years. With 6 courts, a bar and offering club sessions, team play and social functions, it’s a great place to enjoy tennis!
With a professional coach, supported by assistant coaches there is something for everyone - including an extensive junior programme and coaching from introductory to country standard.
Full story is courtesy of Tennis Surrey and Leatherhead Tennis Club.