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Joan Griffiths delighted as Painswick Tennis Club celebrate 60 years

All Areas > Sport > Tennis

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Saturday, 28th May 2022, 09:00

Joan Griffiths Joan Griffiths

Joan Griffiths knows a thing or two about tennis.

She first played the sport around 70 years ago and even though a shoulder injury forced her to give up playing a year ago, she remains very heavily involved in the game.

She also knows a thing or two about Painswick Tennis Club, a club that is very close to her heart and one that she joined back in 1985.

She’s been the club’s president for the past 12 years and as you’d expect from someone who holds such an elevated position, she’s very keen to trumpet all that is good about the club.

And there’s certainly plenty to shout about.

“We’re celebrating our 60th anniversary this year,” she told The Local Answer. “That’s pretty good going. We’re a thriving club, our membership is going up. Including the juniors we’ve got 330 members, we’ve got a big junior section.”

And there’s plenty of quality players at the club too.

“We won three divisions in the men’s summer league last year,” said Joan with obvious pride. “And in the winter league which has just finished we won two of the mixed divisions and one of the ladies’ divisions.”

That’s all pretty impressive, of course, as is Joan’s own tennis CV, which includes being presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Gloucestershire for services to the game back in 2018.

Born in Longlevens, Joan first started playing tennis at the age of about 11 when she was a pupil at what is now known as Denmark Road High School in Gloucester.

She was pretty good too and was part of the Gloucestershire juniors set-up, although she says modestly that she didn’t play much.

A left-hander, she was also pretty good at table tennis, another sport in which she represented the county.

“I played tennis for Gloucester Civil Service when I was a junior, I loved it,” she said. “They had a big junior section, unfortunately the club is no longer there. I played a lot of tennis as a junior.”

Joan had a couple of years away from the sport when she started a family, but had a spell with Pineholt before switching to Painswick in the mid-80s.

And it’s fair to say that it’s a move she’s never regretted making.

“We’ve got eight all-weather courts,” she said. “Six at Broadham Fields and two more in the village by the bowling club. We’re very lucky because we can play all year round.”

Joan was certainly playing all year round before her shoulder screamed ‘no more’,  but although she is no longer serving aces on court she remains very much an ace in the club’s pack off the court.

“I’m still very involved at the club,” she said. “I run a ladies’ team and I also run a seniors’ team in the winter, I’m doing something connected with tennis every day.

“Fortunately, I live in Edge which is just a mile from the tennis club.”

That is indeed fortunate because Joan is a past ladies’ captain, club secretary and club captain.

“I think I’ve done every job except for treasurer,” she laughed.

And it’s not just at Painswick where Joan has done so much good because she’s also the current chairman of the Gloucestershire leagues committee and is a past player for the county’s over-50s. 

So what is it about tennis that Joan likes so much?

“The team factor is important,” she said. “There’s a buzz to tennis, an excitement, but it’s such a social sport as well.

“It’s a sport you can play right up until your body gives up, we’ve got people at Painswick who are still playing at the age of nearly 90 and they’re still holding their own.

“We’re very lucky at Painswick, we’ve got such a lovely setting, it’s beautiful.”

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