Margaret Daniell has been awarded the 2011 Tennis Queensland Geoffrey E Griffith Order of Merit award recognising her voluntary achievements.
Margaret Daniell has been awarded the 2011 Tennis Queensland Geoffrey E Griffith Order of Merit award recognising her voluntary achievements. Rob Williams

State award winner fights illness

BEING recently diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease has done little to stop dependable volunteer Margaret Daniell from assisting the sport she loves.

If anything, finding out about the degenerative condition has made her appreciate tennis more.

"I haven't told too many people," Daniell said yesterday, comfortable to now talk about her health challenge.

"My neurologist, when he told me what I had, said to play as much as tennis as I can. And I thought 'that's good therapy'.

"That's what has kept me going."

When asked whether she wanted to keep her situation private, Ripley-based Daniell offered to share her plight.

That says a lot about the honesty and caring nature of Daniell, who won Tennis Queensland's prestigious Geoffrey E Griffith Order of Merit award.

Having been at the forefront of junior development for many years, Daniell received her volunteer's award at the State Tennis Centre, Tennyson.

"I'm thrilled to bits," she said, having shared the precious moment with daughter Lauren.

"I don't remember a lot of what they said about me, I was so shocked.

"For me, that's a special award."

Ipswich and District Junior Tennis Association president Warren Lund was delighted.

"All criteria of this award seem as if they were written for Margaret and it is easy to see how she won this accolade," Lund said.

"It's a magnificent achievement for this wonderful and dedicated lady."

Daniell, who works as a school officer at St Mary's College, is a long-serving IDJTA secretary.

She played an important role in helping set up the recently launched Ipswich Tennis summer competition.

"I'm a big fan of it," she said of the united format.

"I've been part of that since it began about 10 years ago.

"I think that's another thing that may have pushed me over the line as far as the award went."

Daniell concedes it was a testing time getting the new competition going.

"It stalled for a little while there," she said.

"Just before Christmas we were getting things happening by the time-line and Denise Hanly was very good keeping the meetings on track.

"All we had to do was get members and hold the AGM. Then the floods came and everything went pear-shaped from there.

"We wanted to get the fixtures happening this summer season no matter what."

Daniell has been volunteering her time and expertise for more than a decade to promote tennis to new players of all ages.

The former state under-15 champion started playing through her uncle before moving into administrative work and the vital job of preparing tennis fixtures.

She still plays Saturday fixtures and is a passionate veteran circuit representative.

Daniell also coaches club and school players at the Chermside Road courts.

"Her passion for the game of tennis is undeniable but more importantly she is an extremely strong advocate of getting kids started in tennis," Lund said.



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