'Overwhelmed': New tennis club life member Teresa Chapman, centre, with fellow lifers Bruce Morris and Karen Mitchell. PICTURE: HEATHER VINCENT


As Queenstown Tennis Club coach Mark Milburn spoke on seniors’ opening day last Saturday, president Teresa Chapman admits she was checking her phone and quite oblivious to what he was saying.

On realising he was conferring life membership on her, ‘‘I was so overwhelmed and surprised I cried, which is not me at all’’.

Chapman, who’s been president for 14 years, believes the honour really belongs to the whole committee.

‘‘We’ve got such a great core team that make things happen.

‘‘We’ve got a growing membership, we’ve got good money in the bank, and people come from all over the world and say, ‘what a wonderful club’.

‘‘We’ve achieved pretty big things over the years.’’

Among these are nurturing some very talented youngsters, including successful doubles pro Ben McLachlan.

Chapman says she’s passionate about not only the club but also the entire Queenstown Gardens — she’s a member of the Friends of the Wakatipu Gardens and Reserves.

She attributes her longevity as president to no one else standing.

‘‘I put my hand up but I’m also happy to stand aside if someone else wants to put their hand up.

‘‘I think they vote me in ’cos they know if there’s a battle, I don’t back down.’’