Brisbane, Australia, 1 May 2024 | Leigh Rogers

Lara Walker is proving a role model for her younger peers in more ways than one.

As well as pursuing her dream of playing professional tennis, the 20-year-old from Queensland is leading the #NoLimits Girls Squad at her local club.

“I try to make it a nice, fun environment for the girls, as well as helping them to improve at the same time,” she explained of her role at the Redland Bay Tennis Club in Brisbane.

Walker understands the pressures that young girls face, having been an outstanding junior herself.

She won national titles, represented Australia in international team events and contested the Australian Open 2019 girls’ singles competition as a 15-year-old.

“It’s good having a tennis background, because if some girls are playing tournaments and they’re struggling with this, then I know I can help them because I’ve been through the same thing,” she explained.

“Or for girls who just want to have fun or improve, I feel like I know what I need to say and do.”

Walker is a big advocate of the advantages of the #NoLimits Girl Squad, a new initiative introduced by Tennis Australia last year to help keep young girls in the sport.

“100 per cent it will help girls stay in the sport,” she said. “Because if people start dropping off, it keeps going and becomes contagious.

“But if everyone is training and having fun together, that will help keep them in the sport and enjoy it for longer.”

> READ: #NoLimits girls squad members feeling inspired in Brisbane

Walker believes she would have thrived in a similar environment during her early years in the sport.

“I remember being in a squad of about 14 and there were only two girls, including me, in it,” she recalled. “It was still really good, but it would have been great to have a girls’ squad.”

Walker is currently the 38th highest-ranked Australian woman, sitting at world No.1103 in the WTA Tour singles rankings.

As she tries to build her ranking on the Australian Pro Tour, Walker is spending 15 hours per week on court with Bayside Tennis Coaching.

She started the coaching role earlier this year to keep herself busy between her playing commitments.

“When I finished school, all I did was tennis and I got worse,” she admitted. “I didn’t enjoy it and I wasn’t motivated. Having something else on the side, like coaching, takes my mind off my tennis, which I love.”

She describes the opportunity to coach at the Redland Bay Tennis Club as “perfect”.

“It’s my second home and I love tennis, so it was a no-brainer,” she said about accepting the role.

“I’m building good relationships and helping the kids get better and have fun, which I’m enjoying.”

Walker’s journey further highlights the many different opportunities within the sport.

“I love tennis because it’s not boring,” she said. “People might just think it’s forehands, backhands and serves, but there’s so much more to it.

“You can play tennis just for fun, you can try to go professional, you can become a coach, you can work in the tennis industry. There are so many different avenues.

“Playing is my main priority at the moment and I’m kind of taking it one step at a time, but I definitely love coaching too.”

Read more in our Coaching Spotlight series:
> Brad Boynton: A local leader teaching the next generation
> Alwyn Musumeci:
A young leader with big dreams
> Annabel Taylor: Former Australian No.1 now guiding next generation

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