12 January 2022 | Tennis ACT


When the Australian Open begins in Melbourne on 17 January, more than 40,000 kids will also be enjoying a slice of the excitement on courts at tennis clubs around the country by taking part in the AO Holiday Program. And for kids in Canberra, there’s still time to join in and be part of the biggest event of the summer.

“It’s wonderful to think that alongside the professional players preparing for their summer of tennis down under, we’ve got more than 40,000 kids across the country picking up a racquet, getting on court and getting excited about tennis and the Australian Open,” says Tennis Australia’s Chief Tennis Officer Tom Larner. “The AO Holiday Program is a wonderful opportunity to engage with kids, coaches and clubs around the country.”

At the Campbell Tennis Club, Head Coach Dan Fraser echoes the benefits of a program that aims to include kids in the excitement of the year’s first Grand Slam.

“The AO Program is a great way to kick start the year and it is a great way for kids to be active, social, and have some fun. It’s a great way to promote Australian tennis, to educate kids about what the Australian Open is, and there is an additional element of fun with all the cool prizes that kids can receive,” says Fraser.

“We are offering half-day holiday camps from the 10th-14th January, and 24th-28th January (excluding Australia Day), 9am-12pm. Kids come and learn some new skills, rally, and play fun tennis games throughout the day.”

The popularity of tennis continues to increase, with AusPlay data recently reporting more than 1.5 million Australians, including 301,200 kids, picked up a racquet during the latest reporting period. This out-performed 15 other sports.

“Due to Covid many kids are reconnecting with tennis thanks to it being an outside and non-contact sport,” says Fraser. “We have 30 kids participating in our first week. This is the busiest camp we’ve ever had.”

Fraser sees the AO as an excellent driver in encouraging participation and getting active on court. “During January when tennis starts being played on TV, tennis is front of mind for many Australians. This correlates with the large intake of new players we get into our programs. The AO re-energises and motivates many Australians to get themselves or their kids into tennis.”

Kids taking part will be presented with AO lanyards, their own player accreditation, and other AO-themed merchandise and Bondi Sands sunscreen, giving them the feeling of being like the pros in Melbourne. Participants are placed into appropriate classes with a similar skill and age level so no previous tennis experience is required and no one will be feeling out of their depth.

“Many of our players have enjoyed our tennis camps as they’ve come back several times now and parents like the knowledge and fun atmosphere we bring to the tennis court,” shares Fraser.

To find out which clubs are running AO Holiday Programs in 2022, visit The Campbell Tennis Club’s second week program (January 24th-28th) can be booked online at