Margaret Fisher is an inspiration to everyone in the community: she’s an octogenarian who is strong and fit, showcasing that age is no barrier to big dreams.
As a girl growing up in country NSW in the 1930s and 40s, Margaret Fisher set her sights on an almost unattainable goal – to play tennis at Wimbledon.
In 1953, after saving for three years, she sailed alone to England to meet her destiny. That year, the coronation of Elizabeth II, she played in the prestige Queen’s Club Tournament, in the British Open, in the Dutch Open and, finally, at Wimbledon.
The vision had been dreamed and won.
Now, nearly 60 years later, she’s done it again.
Having dusted off her racket and plunged into the world of seniors’ tennis, Margaret dreamed of becoming the Australian Champion. This she achieved in January 2012.
Now, at 83 years of age, Margaret is making a final bid for the world championship, which will be held in Austria in September.
She is the current world mixed doubles silver medalist, an accolade she won with fellow Aussie Doug Corbet at last year’s world championships in Croatia
Margaret has been a sportswoman of excellence throughout her life, representing Australia at Wimbledon in 1953, and competing in the British and Dutch Opens that same year.
She has served various Australian communities as a teacher in infants, primary and secondary schools; pioneered maths and reading centres in Canberra and Darwin; and piloted English as a Second Language courses in Canberra schools.
She is well-remembered by former students and respected by educators and parliamentarians alike, as she worked for the second half of her life in Canberra for various Federal Ministers, MPs and Senators.
In October last year, Senator John Faulkner honoured Margaret in his Adjournment Speech – click here to read what he had to say.
Margaret is now a retired pensioner living in Byron Bay.
In 2010, inspired by her brother to team up for the Australian Super Seniors Tennis Championships on the Gold Coast, Margaret dusted off her tennis racket and turned up at the courts for her first competition match in many years. She came runner up in the singles – a result that inspired her to begin training for the world championships in Turkey that same year.
The result was excellent: she achieved the bronze medal in the over 80s women’s singles and a silver medal in the women’s doubles, results which only inspired Margaret to set her sights on the crown: world champion.
In January 2012, in Perth, Margaret competed in the Australian Seniors Tennis Championships – and won!
As the reigning Australian champion she flew to Croatia, and over two weeks played up to three matches a day in both the Australian teams and individual events, which resulted in the silver medal in the mixed doubles.
Margaret believes she has one more world championship in her and has now set her sights on Austria for a final shot the crown: