Newly-retired Carol Gibson of Palm Beach Gardens has undertaken a new “job,” albeit part-time, and one with much less stress than her former high-level corporate accounting and controllership responsibilities. It’s tennis volunteer.
Be it stepping in as a fill-in “official” at an event for 10-and-under players or assisting as a junior national championships event, Gibson has added to her play in several local leagues with helping along the next generation of players.
“I love tennis and since I retired last year, I’ve wanted to help bring that enjoyment to others,” she says. “I volunteered at an event with 10-and-under players, and they were short an official so I was asked to help by being a roving volunteer, helping the under 10s players with scoring, tiebreakers etc. I also stepped in and helped with the chaos when it rained. That was pretty crazy!”
She has volunteered with helping organize and run the USTA Florida Level 6 junior tournaments put on by the Palm Beach Gardens Tennis Center, learning the line-posting system and “other little jobs as needed to support the event.”
“I’m loving being involved with helping the USTA promote tennis with the kids and their families,” she says. “The people at my club think I live on the tennis courts!”
Gibson says she also draws inspiration from the people that make junior events happen, and also bring together the opportunities for kids and families to play tennis.
“Volunteering my time to help those people who are dedicated to bringing the events to the families has been very rewarding,” she says. “Just being around such dedicated people is inspiring.”
USTA Florida thanks Carol Gibson as the October 2015 Volunteer of the Month for giving back to juniors and families in the Palm Beaches area.
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia
Family: “My husband David and I have lived here in Florida for 20 years. My mother Jean Smith and my brother Paul Smith and his wife and two adult boys all live in Southern California.”
Favorite Movie: Avatar
Favorite Food: Chocolate
Favorite Travel: “Any national park in the US. Love to hike!”
Favorite Shot: “Crosscourt return deep at the feet.”
My earliest tennis memory was…”When I first started playing in my 40s my male boss, younger that me, challenged to a match. Everyone from work came out to watch and I beat him. That was quite a thrill for me at the time.”
If I could play tennis with three people, they would be…”Steffi Graf, Andre Agassi, and Serena Williams.”
When I am not playing tennis I am…”Volunteering, reading, beading, and doing Zumba.”
My best tennis memory is…”I had an opportunity to play with Chrissie Evert in her annual Pro-Tennis Classic benefit. I was so nervous, but it was quite a thrill.”
I like to volunteer in tennis because…”I love tennis, and enjoy helping and encouraging the young players coming up through the ranks.”