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Oct 19

Sports queen?! Ha!

Sports queen?!  Ha! That’s the immediate thought I had when I looked at this object, for a sports queen I am not. Born to a sports-mad family I learned fairly quickly that I was the ‘black sheep’. Basketball, tennis, netball and softball, I wasn’t the worst player but average at best, often lacking coordination and most certainly not fleet of foot. Take baseball for example. My dad is a baseball fanatic so one of my earliest sporting memories was as an eight year old playing teeball for the first time. My first time up to bat, to my surprise I managed to hit the ball off the tee. Yippee! In shock and to the sound of cheers I took off, zooming up to…wait…where do I go again? Is this is the way I should be going? Oh! My socks are falling down. Perhaps I’ll just stop here and pull them up… Half way to first base I still remember the chuckles from the watching parents.

Tennis was my other standout. This one was my mum’s passion. For years I played club tennis, junior at first and then for several years as a teenager I played both junior and senior competitions devoting all day every Saturday to this ‘sport of kings’. And I may have been in the lowest division but I was a gun. I could wallop that ball down the court, had a mean double backhand and I had no time for my many limp wristed, lollypopping opponents. Yet I don’t think I ever won a match. More than once my opponents would express their gratitude and surprise: “This is the first game I’ve won!” And it became the standing joke of the family – and my tennis coach. “Did you win this week?”, “No, but I was definitely better than them!”

Nope, teamsports just ain’t my gig. And yet to this day I credit my childhood sporting career as teaching me a very valuable life lesson – to laugh at myself – and, happily, I reckon I could be the queen of that.

Response for


Jenny Barker

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