Melbourne, Australia, 3 December 2012 |

Australian tennis’s night of nights not only recognises achievement within the elite tennis ranks.

The Newcombe Medal Australian Tennis Awards is an evening to celebrate the achievements, performances and contributions of Australia’s wider tennis fraternity.

This includes the volunteers, coaches, clubs, tournaments and officials who pave the way for people to play the great sport of tennis, some of the players among them going on to represent Australia at the highest level around the world.

Outside of the Newcombe Medal and President’s Spirit of Tennis Award nominees and winners – selected by an esteemed panel – the finalists in the other 13 award categories were originally nominated by the community, before coming through a shortlisting process.

Without further ado, here are the winners from the Newcombe Medal Australian Tennis Awards of 2012.

Coaching Excellence – Club

Winner: Wesley Horskins, VIC

“I’m blown away by it. Really didn’t expect to win this award this year and I’m feeling totally honoured to be here. The quality of coaches that were in the final were outstanding so I can’t believe it … We do all the normal programs – Hotshots, Cardio Tennis, ladies’ programs, mums-and-tods programs, disabled programs. Basically we cater for everyone.”

Coaching Excellence – High Performance

Winner: Josh Eagle, QLD (coach of Marinko Matosevic)

“It’s just great to help a player. Hopefully I can impart a little bit of help and wisdom at some stage, I don’t think its necessarily about the coach but more about the player. If they’re self motivated and prepared to work hard, then they’ll get a result. It’s really more about the player … I just love the game of tennis. There’s not one special individual part. I just love being around it, it’s part of my life.”

Coaching Excellence – MLC Tennis Hot Shots

Winner: Helen Magill, NSW

“It’s such a wonderful program that Tennis Australia conducts so I’m just happy to be here and be a part of it all … I just love the holistic Learning to Play program. I think we all have just as much fun on the court as the kids do and that makes it a lot of fun for all the coaches and you can see that they’re having lots of fun so that’s amazing.”

Excellence in Officiating

Winner: Wayne McKewen, NSW

“(My highlight is) being a referee at the Australian Open. To me it’s the best in the world and to be part of it, to be a large part of the event. It’s a great honour, it’s a thrill, it’s something I look forward to every year.”

Female Junior Athlete of the Year

Winner: Ashleigh Barty, QLD

Male Junior Athlete of the Year

Winner: Luke Saville, SA

Most Outstanding 35+ Tennis Senior

Winner: Andrew Rae, VIC

“I was nominated and won it a couple of years ago and I’m very honoured to be nominated again and be successful for a second time. I’m very happy to have Mr Fitzgerald presenting me with my trophy too. It’s a big honour to me.”

Most Outstanding Athlete with a Disability

Winner: Glen Flindell

Award presented by Judy Dalton: “I’m really proud. It’s terrific. I followed Glen Flindell for a long time when she played so it’s really, really lovely. I’m really honoured to present to Glen, to present to him.”

Most Outstanding Club

Winner: City Community Tennis Centres, NSW

“I’m lost for words actually, I didn’t really expect to win this award tonight. So it’s all our staff, our team, all the people that have been playing tennis with at our club for years. It’s really them. It’s the people in the community that make the facility and we’ve been really blessed we’ve been where we are.  We have the Wheelies come play at our facility … It’s just great. It’s really great. Getting this award – it’s actually made the night.”
– Patrick Jensen

Most Outstanding School

Winner: Maribyrnong Sports Academy, VIC

“It’s an outstanding award. We’ve had a great year – our first Olympian, our first AFL draft this year, first A-league. This is just the icing on the cake for us. We’re only five years old and I’d just like to thank the Victorian Government for having faith and putting an academy inside a government school and giving a great opportunity for kids in the west (of Melbourne).”

Most Outstanding Tennis Community

Winner: Elsternwick Park Tennis Centre VIC

“The main goal is to build a community and we’ve been recognised for that so to me of all the awards, this is the most, in my mind it’s the most important because this is what tennis is all about  – building community and that’s what Australian tennis needs, is to have more tennis communities.”
– Peter Owen, co-director

Most Outstanding Tournament

Winner: William Loud Bendigo International, VIC

“Every year we try to make it better and better. We think we made 2012 better – it gives us a lot of confidence to keep going. Keep going, we know we’re doing the right thing and going in the right direction … Bendigo is well known as one of the best tournaments in Australia. We even hear about it up in Queensland. They run a great event so well done to them.”
– Paul Henshall

Volunteer Achievement Award

Winner: Anne Baldwin, VIC

“There were so many volunteers and everyone else that I’m involved with. They do just the same amount as me, I just feel very privileged and still can’t believe it … (I get to do) all sort of fun things – dealing with the members and the kids and the parents … It’s absolutely wonderful just meeting everybody, that’ s the thing – communication and tennis people.”