Melbourne VIC, Australia, 11 August 2011 | Tennis Australia
Tennis in Australia may see a new State and National Tennis League to increase the level of professionalism of the sport in Australia and provide employment for more players, the second Australian Tennis Conference was told today.
Alistair MacDonald, chief executive officer at Tennis South Australia, outlined his vision for two tennis leagues that would ‘increase players’ earning capacity’, promote the game in Asia and promote tennis as a team sport.
The national league would involve teams from five Australian capital cities and three Asian teams. It would be played over four days in the second week of the Australian Open, and each team could enlist one international player competing in Melbourne at the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific.
The one million dollar national league would provide employment to at least 20 Australian players, ‘and keep their dream of being a tennis player alive,’ said MacDonald.
The State Tennis League would also be team-based and attract the best local players, “recognising local player performance and increasing professionalism and local competition,” he said.
“It will be short, sharp and shiny,” said MacDonald.
The six-week season would run from October to December with finalists from each state competing in the national club championships at the December Showdown.
Tennis Australia’s general manager of Community Tennis, Robin O’Neill also outlined plans to introduce a consumer-rating of clubs and facilities around Australia.
He said Tennis Australia had information on 4000 venues and 15,000 courts. “Power to the people,” O’Neill said. “We want to show people where those courts are and give them an opportunity to rate them.”
The second Australian Tennis Conference at Melbourne Park gives members of the Australian tennis community an opportunity to come together to share ideas and learn about developments in the sport.