3 May 2018 | Tennis Victoria

Tennis Victoria has recently welcomed a group of highly skilled and experienced Coaching Leaders to its team with the aim of strengthening relationships and better supporting Victoria’s 900+ tennis coaches.

Working closely with the Tennis Australia Coaching Development staff and other Tennis Victoria staff, they will collectively work with coaches to develop stronger relationships with clubs and schools, and improve the transition of learning the game to playing the game, through ANZ Hot Shots Match Play and Junior Competition.

Paul Aitken, Lois Plowman, Justin Raiti and Sacha Vlamynck were appointed to the roles recently and have been allocated specific regions in order to adequately support coaches. Following their induction into Tennis Victoria, the Coaching Leaders are looking forward to heading out into their regions in order to engage with coaches.

General Manager of Government Relations and Places to Play, Ken Barton, welcomed the arrival of the Coaching Leaders saying it is a positive step forward to enhancing these vital relationships.

“Tennis coaches represent an essential part of the delivery pathway for tennis, and it’s critical the sport provides them adequate assistance to maximize the number of players learning the game and staying in tennis for life,” Barton said.

“It’s our strong belief that an expanded Victorian coaching support team will play an important role in achieving this.”

Tennis Victoria now has 13 Participation Leaders (eight metropolitan and five country) who act as a network dedicated to supporting clubs grow. As such, the appointment of Coaching Leaders has been initiated in order to expand the services available to coaches and ensure they too have sufficient access to resources.

Senior Coaching Leader, Paul Aitken, is excited about getting out to visit coaches and build a rapport with them.

“Coaches are often the life blood of a successful club, coaches need to connect and be supported with others that have walked in their shoes,” Aitken said.

“Coach development and indeed coach wellbeing are just so important. I feel truly honored to be part of a team that will endeavor to facilitate this support.”

Despite the Coaching Leaders team being very much in its infancy, their roles will also complement the superb work being done by Tennis Australia’s Coach Development Team (Vic/Tas) – lead by Rufus Keown and supported by Deanna Penman and Allan Boyle.

With the entire Victorian coaching team expanding to seven, the experience and expertise accessible is the strongest it’s ever been.

Tennis Australia Coach Development Manager, Rufus Keown, believes the increase in personnel will only benefit the current crop of coaches operating in Victoria and give them added support.

“The Coaching Leaders will be a critical point of contact to refer to the great business and coaching professional development opportunities available to support them,” Keown said.

Tennis Victoria is confident the state’s tennis coaches will utilise these added resources to their fullest, and continue their great work in the community. By taking advantage of the additional support, coaches will have what they require to be the best they can be, with the flow on effect to result in more participation in the sport so many people are passionate about.


Coaching Leaders:

Paul Aitken – Senior Coaching Leader (North East)
Paul is a High Performance coach who ran his own business for more than 20 years in south Melbourne. He has coached at all levels of the game from grassroots to the professional level. In addition, he holds a sport science degree with honours and is extremely passionate about all areas of coach education. He is also the former co-host of SEN’s ‘The First Serve’.

Justin Raiti – Coaching Leader (North West)
A former US college player, Justin has been an innovative and successful club professional coach for more than 10 years. Justin was the Head Coach of Mildura Lawn Tennis Club, and was a senior administrator at VIDA International. Justin brings a wealth of experience to the team, he intimately understands the business of tennis coaching and impressively possesses a MBA.

Lois Plowman – Coaching Leader (South East)
Lois was a club professional coach for 40 years running her own successful business in the south east suburbs of Melbourne. She has also been a former professional player. Lois has a gold standard coaching resume, having also taken numerous national youth teams overseas and was honored in 2004 as the TCAV Coach of the Year and was also inducted into the TCAV Hall of Fame.

Sacha Vlamynck – Coaching Leader (South West)
Sasha has 15 years of professional experience in tennis – with 9 years in Australia. Sacha impressively worked within organisations such as Wimbledon, Marseille ATP 250 & Tennis Australia. Locally, Sacha was the Head Coach and Centre Manager of YMCA Geelong Lawn Tennis Club, along with being the Director of Coaching at Elsternwick Park Tennis Centre. Sacha’s business acumen is outstanding as he holds a Masters in Marketing and ran his own online tennis holiday company.


For further information you can contact the Coaching Leaders directly, or you can always get in touch with Tennis Victoria on (03) 8420 8420.