WHEN Ross Mylrea was invited to an "important meeting" at Scottvale Park Squash Centre on Thursday night, he never imagined the meeting would be about him.
So the 61-year-old was understandably surprised and incredibly overwhelmed when he was awarded life membership of the Rockhampton club.
"It was very humbling," Ross said yesterday.
"You never expect that sort of thing. You just enjoy what you do and try to get everyone around you enjoying what they do too.
"That's what life's about. You shouldn't expect anything, but you don't realise until you get something how nice it is."
Ross has been a member at Scottvale for 25 years, and has been a strong performer for the club both on and off the court.
He has been the club patron for 10 years and says he enjoys sharing his knowledge of the game with his fellow senior players and mentoring the juniors.
As the owner of A Man's Toyshop in Rockhampton, he sponsors Scottvale's juniors and the club's tournaments.
Ross is quick to deflect the attention from himself, instead acknowledging the hard work and dedication of Scottvale's owners, Dee and Michael Steffen.
"They are doing an exceptional job," Ross says. "The harmony in the club is at record levels and they are very, very good at what they do."
Dee is quick to return the compliment, gushing in her praise for Ross's incredible contribution.
"We're very lucky to have him involved in our club. His ongoing commitment and passion for the sport is amazing.
"His willingness to help is unlimited, especially when it comes to junior squash."
Ross said he was originally drawn to the sport of squash because it suited his lifestyle - and his complexion.
"Squash is something you can do for an hour and be gone, whereas with games like tennis or golf you are locked in to a longer timeframe," he explained.
"Also, I have very fair skin so an indoor sport is something that really suits me."
He nominates his greatest achievement on court as his gold medal win at the World Masters Games four years ago. Off the court, he says it is witnessing the emergence of the club's young talent.
"It is great watching them develop into really good players, even when they are beating the heck out of you.
"When some start out, they can't hit the ball. Twelve months later ... they are beating you.
"I love coaching them, playing them and encouraging them.
"That is a wonderful reward. It is very satisfying."
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.