Richardson returns to her court with a little help from some friends

Above: This fall, a resident was able to return to the tennis courts with help from her former tennis instruction partner and his current students. (contributed photo of Pat Richardson with Jeff Beane and 8th graders)

A resident whose dedication to teaching tennis inspired the Town to name courts after her* was seriously injured playing the sport last year.

This year, 92 year old Pat Richardson was determined to get back on the courts. Thanks to support from a friend and his students, she was able to.

Youth Tennis Lessons by Pat Richardson through Southborough RecRichardson had already been conducting tennis lessons for Southborough Recreation for decades when she paired up with resident Jeff Beane in 2001. (Click on image right for a photo contributed by Rec years ago.)

The duo offered youth and adult lessons together until she retired in 2018. Beane has continued to give after school lessons to Trottier students. 

While playing tennis in April of 2022, Richardson fractured her femur, requiring surgery. This summer, she sought to hit the courts, using a “tennis wheels” assistive device. But it proved difficult to find hitting partners.

According to Richardson’s longtime friend Sue Allen, who reached out with the story:

Jeff, without hesitation, welcomed the opportunity to hit with Pat, keeping her playing days alive. Ever competitive, both can be heard chiding themselves for a missed shot, poor form or engaging in friendly banter. At their ages, the joy and excitement for the game remain. Jeff had a more ambitious plan in mind. Ask his Trottier eighth grade boys to warmup rallying with Pat before their lessons. Thoughtfully implementing his plan, Justin, Michael, Nathan and Steven partner with Pat on Tuesdays, Adam and Jake on Thursdays. Embracing his vision, Jeff provided a challenging and enriching experience of appreciating age differences, adapting to Pat’s limitations and valuing teamwork.

Tennis just a game? In Southborough, it’s an inspiring story of Pat, Jeff, and the Trottier Boys at play, practicing inclusion, diversity and respect at their best.

Allen also shared the following photos:

Pat and Jeff Pat Richardson Instructor Jeff Beane Jeff, Michael, Justin, Pat, Nathan, Steven

*The Town’s Richardson Courts on the Neary School campus were named in honor of Pat Richardson.

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Kelly Roney
8 months ago

A roll model! Heh.

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