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29 November, 2021

Club honours tennis coach

The legacy of tennis coach Ruth Von Pein has been engraved into a new sign at the town courts.

Pittsworth Tennis Club executive members Bruce Von Hoff, Errol McEwan and Ross Smythe pay tribute

Mrs Von Pein coached and mentored local children and adults for more than 30 years, beginning in 1989 and only finishing last year.

Pittsworth Tennis Club (PTC) members gathered at the clubhouse on Sunday October 17, ostensibly inviting Ruth and her extended family for a farewell afternoon tea.

So the unveiling of the Ruth Von Pein Court came as a total surprise to the guest of honour.

Long serving PTC president Bruce Von Hoff also presented Ruth with flowers and a cap monogrammed with the club’s new logo.

Other committee members added their appreciation, as did former junior squad member Kent Antonio.

During her three decades, Ruth coached hundreds of local youngsters, fostering their love for the game and setting in motion several careers in the sport, including Leon Hohn, Adon Kronk and Ashley Playford as coaches.

A number of her students also became strong players on regional circuits and many represented district, Darling Downs and Queensland teams during their school years.

With local sponsorship, Ruth formed an elite junior squad during the 1990s with members travelling extensively on the southern Queensland tournament circuit and beyond.

Under Ruth’s leadership and backed by the club, parents, sponsors and volunteers, high level tournaments were hosted in Pittsworth in the 1990s and early 2000s.

During those years, the annual Pittsworth Open attracted big nominations, including state and national ranked players, necessitating the use of dozens of courts in and around Pittsworth and in Toowoomba.

Ruth’s passion for tennis was perhaps pre-ordained by the influence of her father Eric Kronk, a fine competitive player, and her brother Paul Kronk, who played on the professional world circuit.

Ruth was joined at last month’s court-naming ceremony by her husband George and sons Daniel and Jordan, their wives and children, as well as former coaching colleague Jason Smith.

Ruth’s legacy is not only preserved in the court sign but is embodied in all the players on courts around the ridges, still enjoying tennis thanks to the grounding they received as youngsters in Pittsworth.

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