Tennis: 90-year-old Willetton player still holds court

At 90 years former world seniors tennis singles champion Elsie Crowe is still playing the game she loves. Picture: Emma Geary
At 90 years former world seniors tennis singles champion Elsie Crowe is still playing the game she loves. Picture: Emma Geary

A PASSION for sport is in Willetton resident Elsie Crowe’s DNA.

At 90 years of age the former world tennis singles and two-times doubles champion still gets on court for a hit every week at Riverton-based Corinthian Park Tennis Club.

Mrs Crowe was in her 80s when she collected her singles win in the International Tennis Federation World Super Seniors Championships, when she defeated American Rita Caputi-Price 4-6 6-1 6-2 in New Zealand.

In 2002 she, along with the late June Farar, won the World Doubles Championships in the 75 years and over category in Austria. She later went on to win another international doubles championship in Perth.

Mrs Crowe has travelled the world with her sport, competing in tennis tournaments in places such as Austria, Turkey, America, Croatia and New Zealand, and has won numerous singles and doubles games at the Australian Senior Tennis Championships.

She first picked up a tennis racquet when she was in primary school in Margaret River 80 years ago.

Since then her love of sport has seen her compete in golf, hockey and swimming.

“I just love sport. I have the energy and the health to play,” she said.

Two-and-a-half years ago Mrs Crowe was in a car accident and had to have 12 months off tennis recuperating from injuries. It is only in the past year or so that she has been well enough to get back on to the court for a hit and hopes to resume competitive tennis this summer.

She loved the “wonderful camaraderie” between players.

“As you get older you have to be interested and positive and keep involved – get up, put your feet on the floor, stand up and think ‘what I am I going to do today that is positive’,” she said.

Mrs Crowe’s family were pioneers in the Margaret River region in the early 1800s and she attributes her wellbeing to the positive family role models she grew up with in the South-West of the state.

Her working life saw her start off as a primary school teacher in Pinjarra and then in Fremantle at the Princess May School. She then pursued her interest in sport working as a physical education teacher visiting schools in regional WA before heading up women’s sport at what was known as the National Fitness Council of WA.