Kingaroy, Australia , 24 April 2024 | Leigh Rogers

For the past 26 years, Brad Boynton has been the local coach at the Kingaroy Tennis Club in Queensland.

Having experienced first-hand how sport can unite rural communities, it’s a role he feels privileged to hold.

“I work in a local rural community where I know most of the people,” Boynton told tennis.com.au.

“Kingaroy is where I was born and bred. Some of the kids I’m coaching now, their parents are students I had when I started. I’ve seen a whole generation come around, which reminds me of how old I’m getting.

“Where did the time go?!” he added with laugh.

From coaching sessions to competitive fixtures, there’s always plenty of action at the thriving Kingaroy Tennis Club.

“We’ve got 10 courts, which is not bad for our area and where we are,” Boynton said.

“I love running the local tournaments that bring everyone together for a weekend. Everyone has a bit of fun and lets their hair down.”

Although Boynton played tennis as a junior, he initially didn’t consider a career in the sport.

“I enjoyed track and field the most,” he related.

“High jump was my pet event. I ended up going to state and national championships for that many times.”

After completing high school, he was accepted into a human movement course at university.

“But I wanted to have 12 months off,” he said of his plans.

“So, I asked if I could get a deferment and the university said ‘no, take your spot or leave it’. I didn’t want to be pushed into it, so I decided not to take it.

“I didn’t know what to do, so I thought I’d try tennis coaching. It turned out to be fun and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

He now runs his own business, “Mr B’s” Professional Tennis, and couldn’t be happier.

“I enjoy everything about it,” he said. “It’s outdoors, it’s in the fresh air, it’s a healthy sport, you’re not confined to a desk. The kids, the adults, the game, the fitness side of it. I just enjoy the lot.

“Most of what I do is grassroots and I just love working with the kids. I have a big family myself and I love seeing the kids progress and come through.”

Since 2010, Boynton has been taking time out from his coaching commitments each summer to assist at the Brisbane International.

He makes the three-hour drive down to Brisbane, basing himself in the Queensland capital during the event.

“I love my job coaching, but it’s good to get away and do something different,” he said.

“Although it’s still tennis, for me it’s just a whale of a time.”

Boynton works in the tournament’s transport team as a supervisor, a role he also carried out during the recent Billie Jean King Cup tie in Brisbane.

“I enjoy my position. I call it air traffic control on the ground,” he laughed.

“That’s what I love about it, directing cars around and I enjoy the logistics of working out that puzzle. You’ve got a list of jobs and have to work out who is doing what and going where. It’s a thrill, it’s a buzz and the people are great.”

Boynton relishes the opportunity to meet the world’s best players in the process and learn more about their experiences.

“A lot of people think it’s glamorous because of what they see on telly, but when the cameras are not around, they are just regular people doing their job,” he said.

“(Working behind the scenes) gives you a complete picture of what they go through and how many schedules they have to deal with. It must do their heads in.”

It’s an eye-opening experience that helps Boynton appreciate his own life and work in his local community.

“I live out of my suitcase for a couple of weeks each year, but they do it 11 months of the year,” he noted.

“It’s really not that glamorous.”

Armed with this perspective, Boynton is always excited to return to Kingaroy and get back out on court.

“It’s just a great job,” he said of being a tennis coach.

“There’s the social side and always mixing with people. You’re helping educate people. You’re playing the game for a living. Everything about it is fun.”

Read more in our Coaching Spotlight series:
> Alwyn Musumeci: A young leader with big dreams
> Annabel Taylor: Former Australian No.1 now guiding next generation
> Lara Walker: Proudly inspiring young girls

Find your way to play: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!