Over the next few months, sports reporter Jonty Dine will be putting the spotlight on our off-field superstars. These people work tirelessly to make sports in our region happen – without trophies or medals to recognise their efforts.
Whether it is working at the canteen, running tournaments, or even pulling out weeds, there is no task that Trish Wehner won’t take on at the Richmond Tennis Club.
If something at the club needs to be done, Trish will be the first to step up and do it.
Her unparalleled passion for tennis stems from the fact it caters to all.
Members at the Richmond Club range from as young as four to 90-years-old.
“It’s a game for life.”
Trish says she loves nothing more than seeing enjoyment on the faces of players.
“I just like seeing people having fun.”
A life member of the club, Trish has dedicated countless hours to the club in a number of different roles, for almost four decades.
“If I do something, I’m going to do it boots and all, or get out.”
Her contributions to the club are countless.
Among her personal highlights include creating the Thursday night league, which has been running for more than 15 years.
She is the club’s secretary, served on the committee for many years and sits on the board of the Nelson Bays Tennis Association.
In between making coffees and writing newsletters, Trish loves to get on the court too.
“I’d like to play more but I’m probably in the kitchen more than anywhere else, I don’t sit down very often.”
She has also been instrumental in developing junior programmes in the region.
However, she is not solely committed to enhancing tennis.
Trish can be regularly seen volunteering at events such as the Weet-Bix Tryathlon and City2Saxton and has also served in administrative roles for Richmond Football and Nelson Basketball.
Her monumental all-round efforts saw her honoured with a Lifetime Contribution to Sport Award at the 2016 Tasman Sports Awards.
“I don’t do it to be recognised, I do it because I like it, but it was nice,” she says.
Though a treasured member of the club, Trish admits she can sometimes get a bit protective when it comes to her courts.
“I do tell a few people off for things like leaving the roller out.”
An avid player herself, Trish says she will continue to swing a racquet as long as her body will allow.
“I still feel fit and able, touch wood, but I have no shoulder or limb problems at this stage.”
Growing up in Ruby Bay, Trish was encouraged to take up tennis by a neighbour.
Though she may not have a cabinet full of championship trophies, her impact on tennis in the region has been immeasurable.