JUDY Scarrott OAM'S passion for tennis that she was so renowned for in Bendigo started when she took on a president's role at the age of just 13.
"She was living in Cheltenham in Melbourne during war time and the Cheltenham tennis courts were becoming a bit derelict," Judy's son, Peter, said this week.
"So she went home and complained to her mother that the courts weren't being looked after. Her mother said, well don't just talk about it, how about you do something about it.
"She went to the local newspaper to get some publicity to improve the courts and they started a committee of which she became president of when she was just 13-years-old.
"That's how she started in tennis... as a 13-year-old president of the Cheltenham Tennis Club."
That passion for tennis that started in Cheltenham as a teenager later carried through Judy's years in Bendigo and it's at the Bendigo Tennis Association Complex on Sunday where her life will be celebrated.
Judy died at the age of 89 on October 17 having earlier this year been elevated to "Legend" status with the Bendigo Tennis Association.
That's how she started in tennis... as a 13-year-old president of the Cheltenham Tennis ClubPeter Scarrott
Having arrived in Bendigo in 1964 with husband Keith, as her recognition earlier this year acknowledges, Judy's contribution to the BTA truly is legendary.
She was vice-president of the ladies committee in 1973, president in 1974 and secretary from 1975 until 1999 during which the number of midweek ladies summer pennant teams increased from 28 to a peak of 93, while winter pennant was also started.
Judy also spent more than 40 years from 1973 in charge of the ladies committee's catering, helping to raise funds for the BTA's facility development.
"I remember when she was running the tennis club canteen and going shopping with her, she'd go to Coles to get all the sandwich fillings because that was the cheapest place," Peter said.
"Then she'd drive from Coles to Stonemans supermarket to buy the bread because it was three cents a loaf cheaper, so she was going to save 30 cents for the tennis club. But it probably cost her more in petrol, but that's the way she was when it came to trying to help out the tennis club."
Judy was awarded life membership of the BTA in 1983; won the Sports Focus Administrator of the Year Award in 1995; in 2000 received an Australian Sports Medal for her service to tennis; and in 2001 received the Volunteer of the Year Award from Tennis Victoria.
She was inducted into the Bendigo Sports Star Hall of Fame in 2016.
As well as her long involvement with tennis, Judy was also integral in the establishment of the Bendigo Sportswomen's Association as a co-founder in 1982.
The association aimed to promote the sporting achievements of females, young and old, and ran from 1982 to 2013.
"We were there to support people and share our experience and knowledge about running sporting organisations, and to learn from each other," Judy reflected in the Bendigo Advertiser in June of 2013.
"In those days, women in sport got very little kudos and this was an opportunity to draw public attention to the fact there were a lot of female sports people in Bendigo who deserved recognition for what they were doing.
"It was a very male dominated society when we started.
"So our greatest achievement was pointing out there were lots of women in Bendigo doing great things in sport."
Sunday's celebration of life for Judy will be held from 3pm to 5pm.
"She was a great supporter of community sport throughout her time in Bendigo and a great support for her family," Peter said.
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