By Angela Higginbotham
Born in Vienna, Austria, Belinda Macek made the move of a lifetime when she relocated to the United States 25 years ago. Her early career days were spent mostly doing administrative work in Europe before becoming a stay at home mom to her daughter, now a student at Flagler College in St. Augustine.
“Looking back. Staying home with my daughter was a very valuable time. I enjoyed being with her and having the time for volunteer work with her school and other things,” Macek said.
Macek began playing tennis 20 years ago as a hobby that quickly turned into a passion. She spends her days at The Oak Bridge Club as the Tennis Facilities Director, working behind the scenes to ensure a great experience for all Oak Bridge members. Macek has been a proud Ponte Vedra resident for just under two years.
1) What do you enjoy most about living and working in Ponte Vedra?
I love the weather here and all the trees. The small town feel is nice, yet it’s so close to everything. The people are very welcoming and I like how family oriented the town is.
2) What do you enjoy most about your work at The Oak Bridge Club?
The facility has been around for a long time and it has been revamped. I enjoy working to increase our memberships and establish this great place again. I also enjoy being a part of the fundraisers and making a difference in the community. We have a fundraiser coming soon to benefit pediatric cancer research.
3) What would you consider your greatest accomplishment?
I would say just living my life to a point where I feel like I’m moving forward every day. Putting my heart into something and making other people’s days better by having a positive impact.
4) What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy Zumba and yoga. I’ve been doing yoga for more than 20 years. I go to the beach a lot. Coming from a country where there are no beaches, it’s great to be so close. I traded by ski boots for flip flops. Sometimes the more you work for a sport the less you actually play it, but I try to actually play tennis as much as possible. My family still lives in Austria, so time permitting, I go visit when I can.
5) If you could play a game of tennis with anyone, who would it be and why?
Maria Sharapova. She’s had some controversy but I’ve always been intrigued by the way she grew up in another country and had to seperate from her parents at a young age to follow her passion for tennis. I think that takes a lot of strength to do that. She would be so bored with me on the court though.
Photo courtesy Belinda Macek