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Octogenarians Fill Their Lives with Tennis

Octogenarians Fill Their Lives with Tennis

At 85 years of age, Gordon Keys from Alexandra still enjoys his tennis. And at the New Zealand Masters Games in Dunedin he teamed up with 81year old Jean Stevens for the Mixed Doubles.

Fresh off the court with just one match left to play, Gordon praised his partner but was not happy with his performance.

“Jean’s an excellent player but I’ve played disastrously!”

Gordon Keys belongs to three Central Otago tennis clubs and was involved with establishing the three new astro courts in Alexandra. He also belongs to the Rarotongan Tennis Club where he plays when he is wintering over in Rarotonga. Not content with that he has regular trips to Australia and travels on a touring bus to play in organised tennis matches.

His Mixed Doubles partner at the Games, Jean Stevens from Dunedin, also travels overseas to play tennis. For the last ten years she has played on the international circuit for veteran tennis players. Last year she played in Croatia.

“I play in a team and we play teams from nine different countries. All the internationals are social players and we meet up each year in a different country.”

Jean plays for Dunedin’s Cosy Dell Club and plays three to four times a week. She is very active on the court and has no plans to retire from the sport.

“As long as I don’t get injured I’ll keep playing for as long as I can.”

As for Gordon Keys, he says “I’ll keep playing until they carry me off.”


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