A Stratford tennis coach has received a prestigious award.
Ghislaine Brien is the 2021 recipient of the Tennis Central Club Coach of the Year Award. To win the award a coach has to be nominated.
"The announcer was reading out some information about the winner. When I heard the announcer say 'she' I knew that I had won because the other coach was a male. I was in shock, I couldn't believe I had won."
Ghislaine has been coaching for 30 years. She moved to Stratford from England five years ago.
Ghislaine played tennis for a number of years, representing England at the Olympics when she was 15.
"The injuries began taking their toll. I stopped playing tennis at 25 and I went into coaching and took tennis coaching exams. I also went to college to study sport recreation and leisure management courses."
Ghislaine is the head coach for the Ōkaiawa, and also coaches for Stratford, Pihama, Matapu, Hāwera, Rotokare, New Plymouth, and Ngaere.
"I coach school-aged kids and adults and run the tennis to music for adults and teenagers. I'm the Taranaki representative junior coach, I select the senior representative team, and I'm a travelling coach for players who travel away for tournaments.
"I also organise a number of tournaments in Stratford and New Plymouth. During the summer I have evening sessions with the clubs and I fit in everyone else during the day."
She says a highlight of her coaching schedule is driving around the region.
This is my dream job and what's better is Taranaki is an amazing place. I mean, I get to always drive around that gorgeous mountain."
Ghislaine is honoured to have received the award.
"I do what I do because I love it. It's great to get recognised. What was even better was seeing a table full of people from Taranaki, that was the icing on the cake for me. The region is really moving forward with our tennis."
Ghislaine is always keen to help people improve their tennis skills.
"The biggest pay-off for me is a job well done and helping people improve. I'm always happy to help people."
■ For those interested in improving their tennis skills, contact Ghislaine via email email@example.com.