I’ve been a member of the club for about 25 years now. I joined with my husband and my daughter when she came back from uni. We were looking for something that would suit us all and we tried 3 other clubs before settling on Crowstone - as they were the most welcoming.

That sense of welcome and friendliness is still evident today. I have great fun on court playing with a range of people around my standard and also with better players - giving me a stretch and a boost when I get a winning shot past them!

I love the club’s natural surroundings. Although Southend is a busy town these days, the club is surrounded by trees and open space, and the birdsong is beautiful. I like the historic clubhouse too. Originally built in 1938 for £150, at the time it was considered the height of luxury! Though basic by today’s standards it has a quaint, village quality which I like.

My tennis hero is Roger Federer - I love his calmness and flow and his amazing shots and ‘gets’. For me, my forehand has always been my strength, but I am aware that my backhand can be tricky as it tends to spin and be quite unpredictable - for me too! My favourite tennis shot is a crosscourt forehand return into the tramlines - as near to the net as possible.

My favourite tennis ‘watch’ was the match in 2015 when qualifier and ‘shot-maker' Dustin Brown beat Rafa Nadal. It was just amazing - and inspirational too.  I have never laughed so much at a tennis match before or since. (It’s worth checking it out on YouTube)

Playing tennis is a lovely way to foster both physical and mental wellbeing. This was especially important for all of us enthusiastic ‘Crowstoners’ when we were able to play between the severe lockdowns in 2020/21, during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s now April 2021 and its just great to be back on court again. I’m looking forward to a fun packed summer of doubles, and maybe some American tournaments too.