Sport

For Peat’s sake, Rich River wants a three-peat

By Fraser Walker-Pearce

RICH RIVER Tennis Club stalwart Marg Peat is thinking of calling it quits at the end of the season.

And her teammates are hoping to send her off in style if they complete what would be an unlikely three-peat.

The 69-year-old has been plying her trade in Rich River’s Campaspe Tennis Association section one team for the past decade.

Before that Peat was heading up the team at Echuca Lawn after starting out at Bamawm Extension in the Lockington and District Tennis Association, now known as the CTA.

In fact, she has played tennis nearly every year since she picked up the sport at age 10.

“I did have a year off when my children were involved with swimming, and probably also when I was pregnant; but I’ve basically been involved all my life,” Peat said.

And has played in most, if not all, the local leagues: Cobram, Kyabram, Lockington, Campaspe and Goulburn-Murray.

Which, after 60 years, makes her feats on-court every weekend all the more spectacular where longevity is concerned.

Peat was a huge part of Rich River’s 2016 and 2017 premiership-winning section one team. But she insisted this year could well be her last.

“I think this will be my finale this year,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve got a big birthday next year, 70. I still enjoy playing with everyone and I think I can still hold my own.

“I enjoy the company and I keep playing because of the people I’ve met.

‘‘I’m looking forward to playing again for Rich River this season,” she said.

Tennis is in her blood, it was passed down to Peat by her parents and siblings — and she in turn ensured it was in the DNA of her own children.

“I used to play netball and I still play golf a bit out at Rich River,’’ Peat said.

‘‘But all my children played tennis, my husband played at Lawn too, and growing up my parents played tennis in Echuca as well.

“In our Campaspe team, which I’m in, we won the premiership the past two years, but we’re a bit weaker this year so we may not be able to do it a third time,’’ she said.

And although that would be the perfect send-off if she were to decide this year will be her last, she’s not too fazed about the Marg Peat three-peat.

“I enjoy going on a Saturday. I still bake a cake for everyone’s afternoon tea and head off to tennis,” she said.

In her time Marg’s done everything at her clubs from coaching to playing section one tennis; so she has a fair idea on where the competition is headed.

“The standard isn’t too bad, but it’s not what it used to be – it has dropped off a bit in the last couple of years and we’re just in the local association.

“It’s still a reasonable standard of course, and the young ones sometimes are quite good.

“But they don’t seem to hang around. They go off to uni and the number of teams has dropped off in the last few years too,” she said.