Indigenous tennis program in Tweed nets young talent

Pro One Tennis Academy coach Patrick Ganet with development program participants Zaden Phillips, Tkeyah Henderson and Lilandra Henderson. Photo Tweed Shire Council

Pro One Tennis Academy coach Patrick Ganet with development program participants Zaden Phillips, Tkeyah Henderson and Lilandra Henderson. Photo Tweed Shire Council

Twelve young indigenous children in the Tweed are showing their natural talent for tennis under a free, eight-week coaching program which has given them a chance of a lifetime to become champions in the game.

Tennis Australia recently gave the Pro One Tennis Academy at Arkinstall Park, Tweed Heads, a $2,000 grant, through its national inclusion program, to enable it to offer the free coaching sessions.

And it appears to be unearthing some great talent in the group of kids aged seven to 12.

‘They are very coordinated and with little instruction they are really picking up the game, it’s quite amazing,’ Pro One manager Natasha Kersten said.

‘They are super talented but without this program many would not have the opportunity to play,’ Ms Kersten said.

‘We chose to target indigenous kids because there were a number of Aboriginal children who were coming to the complex but did not have the money to play.

‘They helped us contact other kids who might be interested in getting involved.

‘They love it. They keep coming back and that’s the biggest sign they’re enjoying it.’

The program’s weekly sessions are introducing the kids to fundamental racquet and balls skills.

‘Hopefully we can get them to a point where they can play a rally and then join a Friday night competition,’ she said.

‘This group will be followed by another eight-week program in the fourth school term, then hopefully something next year.

‘We will probably open it up older kids as well, and have two groups going.’

Pro One Tennis Academy has managed the regional high performance tennis facility at Tweed Heads South since it opened in May 2015, after Tweed Shire Council completed a $7.7 million upgrade of Arkinstall Park.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.