Pappinbarra's Pansy Ostler calls time on her stellar tennis career

Retiring types: Pansy Ostler and Pattie Tudhope have announced the end of their respective tennis playing careers.
Retiring types: Pansy Ostler and Pattie Tudhope have announced the end of their respective tennis playing careers.

Pappinbarra's Pansy Ostler is hanging up her racquet.

And there's many a tennis player who will no doubt be breathing a great sigh of relief at the news.

A regular competitor with the Wauchope social tennis each Tuesday, Pansy's signature shot - a forehand slice - has won her many a point across the net.

The only concession the 87-year-old would make in her retirement was that her legs may not 'hold up like they used to'.

"I've been playing here in Wauchope for 20 years but I played all through my school years up at Pappinbarra," Pansy said.

"Back then, tennis was a very important way to interact socially with your neighbours. It was a big part of what you did.

"Tennis was a meeting place for everyone," she said.

"I decided to come down and play the Tuesday social tennis here in Wauchope and it has been great meeting up with all the players.

"Playing tennis - and being active - has really helped me enormously."

Back then, tennis was a very important way to interact socially with your neighbours. It was a big part of what you did.

Pansy Ostler

But why give it up now? "The old legs just can't get going fast enough anymore," she said.

Granddaughter Crystal Clarke says she is proud 'beyond words' for her inspiring and amazing grandmother.

"To be 87 years young and still putting it to the best of them a Wauchope social tennis on Tuesdays is motivating for me as well as inspiring," Crystal said.

"I've been able to watch a few of her matches over the years and she approaches the game the same way every time.

"She goes out there on the court to firstly have fun, secondly, enjoy the social atmosphere and thirdly, blitz the ball down the sidelines and win the point."

Pansy's tennis career started at Kindee back when she was a young girl.

She married David Ostler and the couple moved to Pappinbarra.

She was too busy raising babies and working on the family dairy farm to play again until after David passed away in 1998 when she took up playing night tennis at the Pappinbarra courts.

"She then signed up for social tennis in Wauchope on a Tuesday morning as well as still playing in Pappinbarra," Crystal said.

A long time friend and fellow tennis player Donna Armfield said: "What an amazing lady. I'm honoured to have been able to play with and against her. She will be missed."

What a lovely lady to play with and against even though she still has that amazing slice across the court which we will never forget.

Sue Donald

Sue Donald also said: "What a lovely lady to play with and against even though she still has that amazing slice across the court which we will never forget."

"Her mean forehand slice which would land just over the net and bounce in any direction other than the way you were expecting it to was her signature play," Crystal said.

"She would then follow it up with a cheeky, yet innocent smile that said 'gotchya'.

"The legs may, in her words "not hold up like they used to" but her competitiveness and her love for the game hasn't faded."

Pansy said she would like to see her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren get on the court a bit more often.

Well done: Pansy and Pattie with some of the regular Tuesday social tennis players.

Well done: Pansy and Pattie with some of the regular Tuesday social tennis players.

Also announcing their retirement from the Tuesday competition is 81-year-old Pattie Tudhope.

Mrs Tudhope has spent 20 years on the court but concedes she has 'a few health issues now'.

"When I retired I decided to take up tennis,"

"The ladies actually taught me how to play. I think it is great being out in the fresh air and having a bit of a conversation with all the players each week.

"They are terrific," she said.

"But I have noticed that I am starting to tire a bit more frequently."

Both ladies will officially retire on July 2.

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