Three Warkworth tennis players picked up multiple medals at the Tennis New Zealand Seniors National Individual Championships last month.
David Theyers, Gloria Wilmot and Penny Smith competed in Lower Hutt from January 20 to 24 across three tennis venues.
Theyers won his 14th gold medal in nationals tennis, winning the 75-plus men’s doubles with Murray Pike and mixed doubles with Janice Larmer.
“It was a different experience for me this year because I’m used to playing with Murray Billington, so it was good to get the right result with another partner,” Theyers says.
Wilmot also grabbed her 13th gold in the 75-plus women’s singles and the 75-plus women’s doubles with Bev Evans.
Smith claimed her seventh gold in the 60-plus mixed doubles with Phil Sim and silver in the 60-plus women’s doubles with Sylvia Shipley.
“We had some wind on the first day, but after that it was just sun, which made for an enjoyable competition,” Smith says.
Meanwhile, after four years as president of Tennis New Zealand Seniors (TNZS), Warkworth resident and tennis club member Murray Billington has retired.
Billington took over the job after spending two years on the committee, but has taken a step back to be president of Tennis Lower Northland Seniors due to health issues.
TNZS has 2500 members across 32 clubs, including up to 18 players who compete overseas in International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournaments.
“The organisation has gradually grown during my time as president and it’s great to have more players than ever competing on the ITF circuit,” Billington says.
He says his best decision in the role was putting Dawn Morrison, who set up Albany Tennis Park, in charge of administration.
“When I started, some clubs weren’t even paying their fees and Dawn has turned that around and keeps all of the finances and information up-to-date.
“Because of this our books have turned from a deficit to a surplus and more people are getting involved.”
His other achievements include setting up a selectors committee, rectifying the constitution, giving out two life membership awards and introducing two new awards for seniors.
Billington also oversaw the promotion of the individual national championship from an ITF grade three competition to a grade two.
The new president is Bev Evans and Warkworth club members Beverley Billington and David Theyers have retained committee positions.