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Sarah Shand Named Tennis New Zealand Volunteer of the Year

Sarah Shand Named Tennis New Zealand Volunteer of the Year

Napier based Sarah Shand was announced as Tennis New Zealand Volunteer of the Year on January 6 at the National Sporting Organisations Annual General Meeting.

The award is one of the most significant on the sports administration pathway.

Shand’s commitment to Tennis began through her two children now adults but both still involved in Tennis to this day. She has lead the way for other parents in the Tennis community and has embraced grassroots sport, giving hundreds of hours to the development of tennis. She has been involved in local schools and clubs throughout the Hawke’s Bay region and has been heavily involved with Tennis Eastern (previously Tennis Hawke’s Bay).

As a strong advocate for the Greendale Tennis Club for several years, Shand was asked to join the clubs committee in 2013. After two years of fluctuating membership numbers Sarah was elected president of the club in 2016.

Under her guidance the club has made great strides with the implementation of a number of strategic initiatives to grow membership, improve the facilities and expand the numbers participating in tennis at the club. For example, delivery of the largest Hot Shots tennis tournament in the country, the introduction of “Pay to Play” – a system that gives the general public access to the facilities through a booking system, introduction of “Playball” – teaching fundamental movement skills and coordination to children from the ages of 2 to 5 and the installation of three brand new plexi-cushioned courts valued at $120,000. These are just a few of the initiatives that Shand has seen through to completion over the last two years. All of which have contributed to a 9% increase in membership numbers at the club and still growing.

The list goes on for Shand – as well as being a full-time teacher at Napier Girls’ High School, she also single handedly runs the family farm after the passing of her late husband and has raised two young boys, one of which is soon to give the NCAA system a crack in the United States on a Tennis Scholarship.

“Sarah is a High School Teacher, President of Greendale Tennis Club, Tennis Eastern Board member, and active member of Taradale Rotary, and a solo mother,” noted Luke Donovan, Tennis Professional. “She lives and breathes Tennis throughout all these organisations. As if this isn’t enough, Sarah volunteers her limited time to running successful International Junior Tournaments on the weekends, raises 2 incredible teenagers and is always there within a heart-beat for her friends and the tennis community.”

Sarah is a phenomenal example of a voluntary sports administrator.

“Sport Administrators are one of the most significant drivers behind quality sport – not taking anything away from the vital role of coaches and team managers, but an effective sport administrator is like gold” said Sport Hawke’s Bay’s Club Capability Manager, Tina Haslett.


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