Salmon Arm’s Mary Potter is now one of Canada’s best woman tennis players over age 60.
Based on Tennis BC and Tennis Canada rankings, Potter, 62, sits at number one in Western Canada and number two in Canada in the 60+ women’s division.
In just four months this year, Potter won five women’s singles and doubles events in Western Canada. In April, she won the women’s singles 60+ title at the Vancouver Lawn ITF Master’s Tournament. She then clinched the top women’s 60+ singles and doubles titles at the Western Canadian Seniors ITF Tournament in Edmonton in May. Earlier this month, Potter won both the singles and doubles championships at the B.C. Provincial Masters Tournament in Vancouver.
While Potter won national singles and doubles championships in her younger years, this is the decade where everything is coming together.
“I’ve finally figured out that tennis is what makes me happy and have focused my efforts on being the best I can be,” said Potter. “My kids are grown up and have their own lives and I have more me time. It’s too late for me to be a tour player but competing in my age group at an international level feels fantastic.”
The youngest of five, Potter grew up in Edmonton and began playing tennis at age eight. It turns out, tennis is in her genes. Not only did her parents and all of her siblings play the game, her grandmother was a Maritime tennis champion in Halifax in the early 1900s.
“By all accounts she was a force on the tennis court and I think we share a competitive instinct,” said Potter.
Following in her grandmother’s footsteps, Potter has played competitive tennis most of her life. She moved to Salmon Arm in 2020 and joined the Salmon Arm Tennis Club (SATC) soon after. She and the tennis club clicked.
“I have all of the indoor and outdoor court time I need, unlike in the city where courts are always fully booked, and many excellent players and coaches to play with,” said Potter. “I find it amazing that the Salmon Arm community is virtually unaware of this jewel nestled in the trees by Little Mountain. It’s a tennis haven!”
The SATC is thrilled to have a player of Potter’s calibre. Her enthusiasm for the sport, and her generosity in sharing her love of the game through coaching and mentoring is well-known throughout the tennis community.
“When we completed The Askew Tennis Centre four years ago and were able to offer year-round tennis, we hoped we’d attract tennis folks like Mary,” said SATC board president Bill Spencer. “We were delighted when she moved to Salmon Arm. The knowledge, skills and enthusiasm she brings to the club have been an absolute bonus.”
Next up for Potter is the World Masters ITF Championships 60+ Team Event and the World Masters ITF Championships 60+ Individual Event in Lisbon, Portugal from August 13.
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