19 February 2021 | Tennis Queensland

On the eve of the Australian Open women’s final, Queensland’s junior female players have more reason to feel inspired with the roll out of a series of development camps just for girls.

Tennis Maranoa will host its annual girls and women only camp in Roma ahead of International Women’s Day and Tennis Australia has announced a series of Females in Tennis (FIT) Development Camps in six sites across the state as part of the Federal government’s $12 million commitment to women and girls in tennis.

Rockhampton has already successfully hosted the first FIT Development Camp in Queensland with dates now confirmed for Hervey Bay, Mackay, Toowoomba and Cairns. Details for the Townsville FIT camp will be released soon.

25 FIT camps are being held Australia-wide and are free to female players aged 9-14 years.

“These camps are designed to bring girls together and show them that they are an important part of the Australian female tennis community, and that belonging to this community is something special,” said Tennis Australia’s National Lead – Females in Tennis, Emma Shoemaker.

Designed specifically for girls and reflective of what is being seen in the modern women’s game, participants will focus on skill development, peer connection and unique experiences within tennis.”

Tennis Australia coaches at the FIT camps will identify players for ongoing opportunities through state and national development and inclusion talent pathways.

Tennis Maranoa Head Coach, Dean Stansell has coached for 36 years in 12 countries andhas been holding female only camps for three years in Roma. He says he started the sessions to address a shortage of girls participating in the sport.

“When I first came here, there was a lack of girls playing tennis particularly in the younger levels but this is slowly starting to change now and we have about seven or eight girls who will be ready to play fixtures soon,” Stansell said.

“I have asked many people at all levels, including on the WTA tour why we have this drop in girls and my conclusion is that girls want to play against girls. They are social beings so they like to have their friends around. By having a camp where girls come with their friends, their mothers and grandmothers they will understand the tennis club is not a scary place and they will want to come.”

Stansell not only covers Roma but travels further out west to provide tennis playing opportunities for people in more remote towns.

“I am the furthest west tennis operator in Queensland and I love working in regional areas. I have a passion for the sport, it is everything to me and I want to create the feeling that the tennis club can be the hub of any town.”

Camps Calendar

Hervey Bay

Date:  Sunday 28 February
Time: 10am to 4pm
Location: Hervey Bay Tennis Centre – 79 Colyton Street, Torquay QLD 4655
Register here


Date: Saturday 6 March

Time: 9am to 12pm

Location: Roma and District Tennis Club

Register here


Date:  Sunday 7 March
Time: 10am to 4pm
Location: Pioneer Tennis – 6 Leisure Crt, Mackay QLD 4740
Register here


Date:  Sunday 14 March
Time: 10am to 4pm
Location: Toowoomba Tennis Association, 41-55 Water Street South, South Toowoomba QLD 4350
Register here


Date:  Monday 26 April
Time: 10am to 4pm
Location: Cairns International Tennis Centre – 356 Sheridan St. North Cairns, Queensland 4870
Register here