On Monday the 22nd of February TAG met with Ken Wray Sen, the Community Tennis Officer for the New England and North West Regions. Ken has an extensive background in country Tennis; he has previously coached at Ballina and managed the Lismore Tennis Centre. He advised the Group that Tennis NSW is committed to the region and will be appointing a new manager based in Tamworth to service this area. This will have flow on effects for the District and especially for the development of Tennis in the Bingara District.
Ken provided the Group with an insight to the where Tennis NSW is focussing there efforts. They have key development areas; Grass roots, Player Facilities and business. For Bingara Tennis there are a number of programs that can be implemented and closely follow the development areas. Of major interest is a Junior Development program, which would involve a complete change to training and coaching juniors.
Ken suggested that we could coach utilising ‘Modified Tennis’ to make it easier for juniors while learning. Ken recommended TNSW’s ‘Hotshots’ program, the concept involves smaller courts, slower balls and smaller racquets. There is no age restriction but generally 4 to 14 years of age. A simple training program can see anyone running this program e.g. teachers or parents. Ken has kindly offered training for this program.
A one off $200.00 registration fee to become a provider (payable to Tennis Australia) and TNSW will rebate the provider $150.00, the upshot it will cost $50.00 we only need one or two providers.
What do we get?
A banner (Hotshots Junior Tennis), posters for display, training and a user manual. Equipment costs are extra and are reasonable mini nets at $100 each and racquets $20 each. This means that we can have up to 16 juniors on one standard court participating at the same time, by the looks of the program the days of juniors waiting in a line for a hit will be long gone and supervision will be reduced significantly.
Ken also advised that ‘Hotshots’ is an ‘Active after Schools Program’ and starter packages are available. For the more advanced juniors Ken has been in contact with Jarred Campbell (head coach West Tamworth, and past Bingara Long weekend player), Jarred has indicated that he will be willing to send a Level 1 coach to Bingara for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours on a weekly basis.
Tennis in Bingara is on the move once again, TAG has a lot to catch up on and work through; there are items such as Affiliation with Tennis NSW, developing and prioritising a business plan, and of most importance a complete facility upgrade. There is so much to do and it will take time.