After making the move down south from sunny Queensland to Central Victoria five years ago, Bree Smith now calls Bendigo home.
During that time Smith has been coaching at the Bendigo Tennis Centre, an experience she has cherished.
However, the biggest challenge for the Redcliffe native has been adjusting to the change of weather.
“Coaching is definitely more difficult in the winter, I need to go out on court with six layers on and I’m still cold,” Smith laughed.
Smith has been surrounded by tennis for majority of her life, picking up her first racket after her parents started playing when she was a junior.
“I’ve travelled around Australia to play at various tournaments and also went over to France to compete a few years ago,” Smith said.
But after years as a player, Smith found her true passion, coaching.
“I receive so much satisfaction from helping others achieve their tennis goals,” Smith said.
“When I see people progress from when I first start coaching them in comparison to a couple of months down the track, you see an incredible increase in their on-court skill.
“From a coach’s perspective, it’s very satisfying.”
Smith recently received a Tennis Australia Club Professional coaching qualification, and is now the highest accredited female coach in the region.
The level of accreditation covers stroke production, tactical plans and sport science, in addition to the business logistics side of operating a tennis club.
“With the qualification I am now able to operate my own coaching business, as well as teach high-performance junior players,” Smith said.
An important role for club professionals is to also engage junior players to the sport, and in Smith’s case, more ladies.
“Sometimes it can be hard to get ladies into tennis, even with juniors they play when they’re young and eventually drop off to find other interests” Smith said.
“My aim is to get ladies playing sport and engaged with tennis under a new program that will get them out onto the court for some coaching, but also as a social outlet.”
The Bendigo Tennis Centre has launched a Ladies Tennis and Coffee program held each Friday, aimed at ladies of all ages and abilities.
Smith runs the program which is held each Friday between 11am-12pm.
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.