“Our coaches are looking for kids who display enthusiasm, determination and a willingness to improve themselves given half a chance.”Evonne Goolagong Cawley
Tennis Come and Try Days will be staged across Australia in the upcoming months, giving Indigenous children aged five to 15 the chance to experience tennis while offering further tennis development and other sporting opportunities.
The days are run through the Evonne Goolagong Foundation in conjunction with Tennis Australia and the Learn Earn Legend! Initiative, which encourages and supports young Indigenous Australians to stay at school, gain employment and be a legend for themselves, their family and their community.
Tennis Come and Try Days will be held in New South Wales during May, with a day at Sydney’s City Community Tennis centre on 20 May followed by days at Grafton City Tennis Club (24 May) and Griffith Tennis Club (26 May).
Further days are scheduled throughout Queensland in June, and Western Australia in July, with other dates to be advised.
Tennis Come and Try Days feature MLC Tennis Hot Shots and game play as well as other fun tennis activities, and coaching provided by National Indigenous Coach Ian Goolagong and other Indigenous and Tennis Australia coaches. Indigenous Australian tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley will also give a talk.
Goolagong Cawley, a Learn Earn Legend! Ambassador, said the program invites Indigenous girls and boys to come and have fun while giving tennis a real go.
“Our coaches are looking for kids who display enthusiasm, determination and a willingness to improve themselves given half a chance,” she said.
“Athletic ability is also taken into consideration but is not the determinant factor. So send your kids out onto the courts to have fun and to try their best.”
Indigenous kids’ attendance at Tennis Come and Try Days gives them the potential to access to further playing pathways and developmental opportunities.
Some may be selected to receive equipment and further coaching, and will be encouraged and expected to attend their school and their tennis sessions. This provides an opportunity to be selected to attend joint Goolagong/Tennis Australia state development camps held in October and November.
Participants at state camps may th enbe chosen to attend the Goolagong National Development Camp (GNDC), held in Melbourne each January during the first week of the Australian Open. GNDC participants also have the opportunity to access Tennis Australia’s elite programs.
Since 2005, the GNDC has awarded 19 school scholarships, produced tennis coaches, sports administrators and university scholars, and has helped with employment placement.
For more information on Tennis Come and Try Days, contact Ian Goolagong.