Wednesday, March 27, 2013


As the season winds down, and perhaps throughout the year, I will post select pieces by members of the tennis community. This is one such piece, written by one of the absolute sweetest tennis personalities I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, Donna McVety, former League Coordinator for USTA Florida. Don't hesitate to share your thoughts and if you have something you think would be of interest to our tennis community, don't hesitate to email me. Here's Donna:

Captain Donna McVety front & center
Paula Scheff, captain of the Sabal Springs 60 Plus, asked me to start a team in this league. At the time I was busy with USTA and regional competitions and said, “I’ll think about it.”

Paula was persistent. "These 60 plus girls can still hit a ball!” she said. “Come on, form a team out of FMRC.” To entice me, she offered to give me her aqua colored Wilson visor which matched my new tennis dress. I took up the challenge. I was 69.

The second captain who influenced me was Lillian Haigy, a friend from the Legends. Lillian, a talented N.Y. hairdresser, was cutting my hair and upon learning that FMRC intended to form a team said, "We're gonna kick your team’s butt! We got some strong 4.0 players."

Whoa, that statement got my attention. I was having trouble recruiting strong players as this team was unknown with no track record. And there was a bias against playing 60 plus. It's like playing 60 plus labeled you over the hill. Not something you wanted to advertise.

Recruitment was based on these factors: (1) Desire to play competitive tennis (2) Desire to have fun (3) Commitment to improve, positive attitude and good sportsmanship. 

Motivation to get back after a hiatus propelled others. Karen Keeling, our co-captain, formerly played 3.5 tennis, but had knee replacements and was eager to return to the game. Six of our members had played together on USTA national teams and brought their spirit and desire to excel. Our 4.0 rated girls played confident tennis, even with lower rated partners.

Carolyn Lawver, tennis pro at Heritage Palms, said, “Donna, your team is strong, especially considering your range of ratings.”  Her comment meant a lot to me.

Our players’ hard work and splendid cooperation have resulted in our winning the 60 Plus League for the past three years. We celebrate women from ages 60-75 who still got game, gumption, and the will to win. After all, age is just a number!!
Rear: Nancy Nilson, Gay Gillespie, 
Gale Caron, Carole Hartman, 
Andrea Buczek, Pauline Smith, Missy Beck;
Front: Janice Layman, Rosanne Ziegler, 
and Donna McVety

Team members are: Missy Beck, Andrea W. Buczek, Gale Caron, Gay Gillespie, Carole B. Hartman, Dorrie F. Hill, Karen Keeling, co-captain, Katie Keen, co-captain, Janice Layman, Donna McVety-captain, Maria Mosco, Nancy Nilson, Laurie C. Schmidt, Pauline Smith, Teri Taylor, Rosanne Ziegler. 

No comments:

Post a Comment