TRUE IMPROVER: Sandy McBean was awarded JJK Tennis Coaching's most improved award for 2011 by coaches Jenny and Jamie Kirkman and is a great example of what others can do on the court, if they put their mind to it. Photo Zac Bailey / Whitsunday Times
TRUE IMPROVER: Sandy McBean was awarded JJK Tennis Coaching's most improved award for 2011 by coaches Jenny and Jamie Kirkman and is a great example of what others can do on the court, if they put their mind to it. Photo Zac Bailey / Whitsunday Times

Sandy an inspiration for others

WHITSUNDAY tennis player Sandy McBean has proven that age and skill is no barrier.

Sandy took up the sport of tennis two years ago and has never looked back - taking out the award for JJK Tennis Coaching's Most Improved player for 2011.

The talented player has been under the watchful eye of tennis coaches Jenny and Jamie Kirkman since she took up the sport.

Jenny said Sandy should be seen as an inspiration for other players wanting to get back on the court.

"We don't have anyone else that asks the technical questions that she asks," she said.

"It's just incredible that she has come so far.

"It's not easy to go and learn something at an older age, and to be diligent.

"Sandy could play veteran's tennis...and hold her own if she wanted to."

Jamie agreed and said Sandy had gone from a casual player to a strong regular player.

"She loves working and trying to get better. "She has improved out of sight."

Sandy arrived to the court one afternoon late last year and was shocked to be handed the 'most improved' award.

"I guess it's an unexpected sense of achievement," she said, "It's fabulous."

Sandy said she played a little bit of tennis in her days at school but that was it before she committed herself two years ago.

"I never took it seriously," she said.

"It was always something I wanted to get back to.

"I was doing a lot of running and gym work and I was looking for something to add to my physical activity program and tennis seemed to fit that."

Since then Sandy has never looked back.

"My confidence in my game has improved because I would consider myself now as a tennis player," she said.

"[Back when I started] my forehand was not too bad, my backhand didn't exist and a serve was a dream. Now my forehand is pretty good, my backhand has improved and my serve needs some work."

And Sandy believes everybody else can do the same. "It takes you out of your normal environment. It's out of work," she said.

"I look forward to my lessons. I just really feel good when playing."

For anyone looking to play at the tennis courts in Cannonvale or to take up lessons, phone 0418 866 808


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