Simon reaches his hundredth win
Road to the Hundred:
I grew up with a father who was a very well-known and accomplished tennis player and coach here in Canterbury so was never far away from a tennis court. I spent the junior years at Edgeware Tennis Club making my Senior Men’s (Premier) debut around the age of 13, although that was more out of necessity than down to my actual ability…
I was very fortunate throughout my junior career to work with some very experienced coaches including most of all my father, as well as spending a number of years training under the tutelage of Waimairi’s very own Stu Chalmers.
My junior career included winning every age group title for the Canterbury champs (both singles and doubles) from under 8’s through to 18’s, while going on to represent New Zealand at the under 14 World Youth Cup qualifying tournament played in Hong Kong, as well as the under 16’s International Club competition against Australia. At a senior level I was involved in two winning teams for Canterbury at the national teams events.
Playing tennis growing up was a wonderful opportunity to travel around spending most holidays playing tournaments and national events up and down the country, whilst making some great friends in the process. Added into this was a couple of seasons, firstly when I was 16 and then again at 21 years old, playing on the clay courts in Germany. This was another amazing experience and opportunity to challenge myself with my tennis, while gaining some fantastic life experiences which will stay with me forever.
Another aspect I always enjoyed about tennis was helping young kids develop their tennis skills and love for the game which I spent the best part of 10 years doing as a coach at both Edgeware and Elmwood Tennis Clubs.
While I always tried to stay loyal to any club I played for over the years, that loyalty has now been shared around a number of different clubs here in Canterbury, as well as a season spent playing Caro Bowl in Auckland. I was fortunate to be part of some successful teams winning the premier competition over 3-4 years for Fendalton (Burnside Park), with a couple more premier titles won playing for Elmwood. I also spent a couple of seasons playing with Canterbury Country and Hagley just to throw some more clubs into the mix.
I stopped playing competitive tennis by the age of 30 having started a career with the New Zealand Police and family commitments, by which time I was aware I had racked up somewhere in the vicinity of 90 singles wins in the Premier competition.
After a couple of seasons making an attempted comeback (that had about as much success as Michael Jordan taking up baseball…) with my eldest son Angus now in his second season of interclub at Waimairi I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to play premier tennis again this season, which culminated on Saturday in ticking off my 100th singles win in Canterbury Premier tennis competition during our semi final loss to Cashmere.
I have really appreciated the great support of the Waimairi Club in helping me with that achievement and here’s to a few more wins getting added to that list when we take back the title next season.