2 June 2020 | Tennis Australia

Throughout Australia, tennis “courts” have been springing up in lounge-rooms, bedrooms, garages, backyards and even hallways.

Lines and nets can be constructed by anything from boxes to cushions and even drawings, while usual racquets and balls might instead be the handiest equipment available.

It may not be the most traditional way to experience the game but as children across the country joined in the Home Court Tennis initiative, they also discovered many ways to participate.

While providing plenty of fun for kids, there is also a strong skills element to HomeCourtTennis, which was recently launched to teachers and coaches.

RELATED: HomeCourtTennis designed to keep kids moving

In the first “Games-making” phase, primary school aged children were encouraged to create their own versions of a tennis game. While encouraging activity, the initial stage also helped students develop creativity, imagination and problem-solving.

The second Fundamental Movement Skills phase helps form the foundation of movement skills that will benefit children over the course of their lifetime.

Some of Australia’s greatest players can remember playing their own form of HomeCourtTennis. John Fitzgerald, for example, loved to hit against a wall with a little wooden bat when he was growing up on a farm in South Australia.

“The game I played was all based around a rally and my opponent was the wall,” said Fitzgerald, who grew up to become a Grand Slam champion and Australian Davis Cup captain. “I tried to get as many (shots) as I could against the wall without missing.

“I got over a couple of hundred after a while and finally one day I broke the thousand barrier. That was a big day for me.”

Fitzgerald and another Australian favourite, John Millman, are among the guests in the final episode of a Facebook Live series exploring HomeCourtTennis.

The past and present players will be joined by Jay Deacon from Tennis Australia Coach Development and Associate Professor Steven Rynne from the University of Queensland.

Last week, Dr Mitchell Hewitt and Associate Professor Shane Pill of Flinders University explored the importance of HomeCourtTennis into the future.

In the second episode, University of Southern Queensland Senior Lecturer Brendan SueSee and ACHPER Professional Learning Officer Rick Baldock discussed the benefits of HomeCourtTennis in school curriculums and coaching.

You can join the HomeCourtTennis live conversation at facebook.com/TennisAustralia at 7.30pm on Tuesday.