Siobhan and I am 2012’s newest addition to the Tennis Warehouse Team! I’m from New Zealand, and came to the US four years ago to play college tennis in the PAC10 at the University of Oregon (big shout out to all Duck fans!). I graduated this past December with a double major in journalism and communications, and since then was organizing my move to San Luis Obispo for my new job!
My parents introduced me to tennis at the age of five, and they haven’t been able to tear me away since. I was an addict – I played for my country when I was 11, reached a world junior ranking of 466 in ITF, and spent most of my childhood and teenage years either hitting balls or picking them up. I traveled frequently and spent time in lots of countries, either playing tournaments or training at academies (thanks to my mum – my biggest supporter, shipping me off and giving me incredible opportunities). Competing while studying at college in the US was always my end goal, so being recruited and playing for Oregon was a completely amazing experience.
Despite some good playing time, my fabulous college career was plagued with injuries – double ankle surgery and back pain from a partially missing vertebrae were not part of the recipe for success, but who’s complaining?!? Four years at ‘Nike University’ in the Oregon rain (I learned to love the constant precipitation!) brought me to beautiful SLO, working my dream job!
Finding work was a stressful experience (I know I’m not alone in this endeavor), added to by the fact that my deportation date was looming if I didn’t find a job (or magically get married) after graduation. But I knew a couple things for certain: I loved tennis and I wasn’t ready to go home, and I was prepared to work as hard as possible to make those two things come together. I love New Zealand and will always be a kiwi (if you hear me talk you’ll note the accent), but the US has become very close to my heart and I feel privileged that Chris gave me the chance to be a part of the Tennis Warehouse Team.
Those who know me are aware I am not a ‘morning person’ yet I’ve never been so excited to wake up before 7am! My little apartment in downtown SLO is right by the bus stop so I’m on the bus at 7.40am with an uncharacteristically large grin on my face. Every day I have so many new things to learn – who would have thought 17 years surrounded by tennis was only brushing the surface, and I am excited to dive in head first. So far, two days here have been full of writing, editing and of’course playing tennis.
Expect to hear more from your new kiwi playtester soon,