31 May 2024 | Tennis NSW

On 10 May 2024, Tennis NSW and Tennis Australia in partnership with Coaching Unlimited delivered a Participation Coaching Course for First Nations people living in NSW. The course was held on Awabakal Country in Newcastle. Awabakal Country spans from Wollombi in the west, to the Lower Hunter River near Newcastle and up to Lake Macquarie in the north.

Coaching Unlimited is a national coaching education program that provides sport-specific coaching accreditation, and research-based workshops, to support First Nations people become qualified sport coaches. Coaching Unlimited works with a variety of local communities and sporting organisations to co-design educational programs that develop coaching knowledge and skills. Since 2017, Coaching Unlimited have accredited more than 100 First Nations sport coaches from various urban, regional, and remote communities in NSW and Victoria.

Coaching Unlimited Steering Committee Member and Operations Lead, Andrew Bennie said “Our goal at Coaching Unlimited is to provide opportunities for First Nations peoples to gain sport specific coach accreditation, so we were really pleased to partner with Tennis NSW and Tennis Australia for the first time.
The workshop was a great success in that the coaches came from across NSW to attend the day, and we know they’ll go back to their communities with valuable knowledge to share with current and future generations of tennis players.”

Tennis NSW and Tennis Australia are committed to making tennis more diverse, equitable and inclusive by engaging cohorts historically underrepresented in tennis’ communities. Tennis was grateful to partner with Coaching Unlimited for this important opportunity as we continue to provide more opportunities for First Nations people in our community to get involved in tennis on and off the court.

Eight participants took part in the course, supported by Tennis Australia’s Coach Education Specialist, Chris Charlton, with course fees, travel expenses and compliance documents supported through the partnership and delivery of the program. Proud Wiradjuri man, Ian Goolagong, came on board as a Coach Mentor during the course and talked to the importance of First Nations Coaches in the community.

Tennis Australia’s First Nations Lead, Kyah Jones from the Yuin Nation, stated “We are committed to creating opportunities for First Nations people in tennis. Collaboration is at the core of how we live, work and play. Working with Coaching Unlimited is a great example of how Tennis can bring people together and help break down barriers. Representation of First Nations people in Tennis Coaching roles is important. By having more First Nations coaches, it can help generate more First Nations tennis players and they can be great role models within their own communities.”

Course participant and proud Wiradjuri man Ceejay Ah-See, who grew up playing competitive tennis and remains active in the tennis community in Orange, NSW, said of the program “I had an awesome time doing the course, learned a lot of new skills and found a new love for the sport.” Ceejay plans to move forward with his qualification in the coming months after gaining additional experience on the trip by spending a day supporting the delivery of the National Indigenous Tennis Carnival participation event for Indigenous school students in the Hunter region.

For more information:
Nikita Sayle
Inclusion & Diversity Lead, Tennis NSW
[email protected]
0433 914 143