RUSSELL HALL – TENNIS SYDNEY
I grew up in Junee and was an outdoorsy type. I played whatever sport was being played depending on the season, but I played tennis all year round.
What gay and lesbian sporting clubs are you a member of?
Tennis Sydney, joined just before the Mardi Gras tournament in 2005.
When did you get involved in the club and why?
I gave up sport completely when I moved away from Junee and discovered booze, cigarettes and boys. When I moved to Sydney I was looking for a way to meet new friends and I also wanted to get back into tennis. That’s when I discovered Tennis Sydney.
Who would you consider role models in sport?
A role model for me is someone who gives their all but does it respectfully and with a sense of joy, and is able to behave in the same manner regardless of whether they’ve won or lost.
What is your greatest sporting moment? Why?
Probably a tournament I won as a junior as a 16-year-old. Unknown country boy comes to the big smoke and beats the city slickers.
What motivates you to keep going?
The close friends and wider sense of community motivate me to keep participating.
Are you single or in a relationship? Does your partner participate in sport? Which one?
I am in a relationship. My partner came to watch me once and ooh-aahed at all the right times, and hasn’t been back since! He’s more of a beach bum.
How old were you when you began playing sport?
I remember going with my mum to ladies tennis comp. They would take a plate and hit and giggle the afternoon away. I guess I was gay at this time!
Who is your biggest sports fan?
My mum. She’s still in Junee but comes and watches me if I play in the area and brings a packed lunch for all my tennis mates.
What is your most embarrassing sports moment?
A Tennis Sydney legend attempted to lob me for the 100th time. I smashed the ball — into the fence at the back of the court. I was so frustrated that I smashed my racquet into the ground, leaving pieces of racquet strewn all over the court. I spent the next five minutes picking up bits of racquet before play could continue.
What would you do without your sport?
Play another. I love sport on so many levels. Keeps you fit. Engages the mind. Meet people. Usually a good perv.
Would you switch to another sport?
Probably another ball sport as I have good hand/eye coordination. I also enjoy running.
Tell us about your best sports night out ever.
Probably one of the dinners/drinks events we’ve had over the years. Usually under the guise of an awards dinner, birthday, farewell, etc.
How would you get readers interested in your sport?
Tennis Sydney caters for all levels. If you are interested in tennis and would like to meet some great people, come to one of our Sunday socials.
What is the best thing about your sports club?
It is well run and helps me to keep fit, but the best thing is that it allows me to catch up with mates once a week for a laugh.
RUSSELL HALL – TENNIS SYDNEY