2 May 2018 | Tennis Australia

Tennis Australia’s Wheelchair Tennis Coach Greg Crump has been named as the recipient of the ITF’s Brad Parks Award in recognition of his significant contribution to wheelchair tennis in a career spanning more than 30 years.

Named after the founding father of wheelchair tennis, the Brad Parks Award is one of the most prestigious in wheelchair tennis. It is presented to an individual or organisation that has made a significant impact on the sport at both a national and international level.

Greg Crump, affectionately known as ‘Crumpy’, started his involvement with wheelchair tennis in the 1980’s after learning about the sport during a trip to the United States. Inspired by what he saw, Crump began volunteering at local rehabilitation units and in 1988 Tennis Australia appointed him National Wheelchair Tennis Coach.

Crump’s distinguished achievements in the sport have seen him lead Australia to five World Team Cup titles as captain and support the national team at five Paralympic Games, from 1996 to 2012.

He has also mentored a trio of former world No.1’s, and some of the world’s finest wheelchair athletes, such as 17-time wheelchair tennis Grand Slam champion David Hall, dual Paralympic medallist Daniela Di Toro, and most recently Dylan Alcott, four-time Australian Open quad singles champion and two-time tennis Paralympic gold medallist.

In addition to his contribution to the Performance Team, Crump has played a fundamental role in the education and development of wheelchair tennis in Australia. He has served as a member on both the International Wheelchair Tennis Association (IWTA) Committee and the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Committee. He is also a passionate supporter of the ITF’s Wheelchair Tennis Development Fund.

In his current role at Tennis Australia Crump visits rehabilitation facilities across the country, helping to develop talented youth, facilitate programs for individuals with recently acquired injuries so they can resume activity, and educate coaches and parents about the sport.

“When I first found out I was receiving the Brad Parks Award I was genuinely chuffed,” Crump said.

“To receive an award of this calibre is something I could never have imagined, and I’m honoured to be recognised in this way.

“When I first started in the sport, more than 30 years ago, there was limited support and recognition for athletes with disabilities. In my time at Tennis Australia I’ve seen a massive growth in accessibility to the sport, recognition of the athletes and a major increase in funding for wheelchair sports, not just in tennis but across the spectrum.

“I hope in the future that more juniors get involved in the sport and recognise the benefits of getting out there and being active,” Crump continued.

In paying tribute to Crump’s contribution to wheelchair tennis Brad Parks told the International Tennis Federation: “I have known Greg for many years and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award, acknowledging Greg’s involvement with wheelchair tennis,“ Parks said.

“For decades he has been extremely dedicated to the sport and has helped coach all the great Aussies from Mick Connell and Danni Di Toro to David Hall. Thank you Greg for all you have done for wheelchair tennis.”

“Greg has played an integral role in wheelchair tennis for more than 30 years, and there is no one more deserving to receive the Brad Parks Award,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said.

“Greg’s invaluable skills on-and-off the court, his expertise and his passion for the sport and the athletes he works with make him one of the most respected members of both the Australian and international wheelchair tennis communities. We are humbled to have him as part of the Tennis Australia team,” Tiley continued.

Crump is the fourth Australian to receive the Brad Parks Award after Graeme Watts (1997), former ITF President Brian Tobin (1999), six-time ITF Wheelchair Tennis world champion and Sydney Paralympic gold medallist David Hall (2015).