18 December 2019 | Tennis Victoria

Tennis Victoria would like to extend its congratulations to Yvonne Fantin, Shirley Whitaker, Cooper White, Dylan Alcott and the Kyvalley Tennis Club after they were named finalists for the upcoming Victorian Sport Awards, to be held at Marvel Stadium on Wednesday 26 February.

Two additional Tennis Victoria initiatives, Melbourne Tennis Month and Tennis Victoria Country Week, were also named finalists.

The Victorian Sport Awards honours individual and team athletes, coaches, administrators and volunteers from both metropolitan and regional Victoria. Every year there are hundreds of nominations for the various categories and it is a significant achievement to be named a finalist.

Tennis Victoria CEO, Ruth Holdaway MBE, congratulated the finalists and wanted to acknowledge their contribution.

“We would like to congratulate Yvonne, Shirley, Cooper, Dylan and the Kyvalley Tennis Club volunteers for being named finalists for the VicSport Awards,” Holdaway said.

“They have all had an outstanding 2019 and I think they are all incredible role models for their communities.

“We have been fortunate that two of our initiatives are also being acknowledged with Melbourne Tennis Month and Tennis Victoria Country Week named as finalists. There has been a lot of hard work put into these initiatives and it’s fantastic that they have been recognised in this way,” she said.

Name Category
Yvonne Fantin Community Coach of the Year
Kyvalley Tennis Club Community Sporting Club of the Year
Shirley Whitaker Masters Athlete of the Year
Cooper White Young Athlete of the Year
Dylan Alcott Victorian Male Athlete of the Year
Melbourne Tennis Month Active Recreation Initiative of the Year
Tennis Victoria Country Week Community Sporting Event of the Year

Yvonne, Shirley, Cooper, Dylan and the Kyvalley Tennis Club were all winners of Victorian Tennis Awards in 2019, with Yvonne and Dylan going on to win awards at the Australian Tennis Awards in early December.

Get to know the Victorian tennis finalists:

Yvonne Fantin

With over 20 years coaching experience, Topseed Tennis’ Yvonne Fantin delivers a comprehensive, innovative and inclusive coaching program that offers pathways for players from a beginner level all the way to the elite level.

Whilst Yvonne’s formal role is to manage and deliver all coaching services at West Lalor Tennis Club, she delivers much more than that and is an ambassador for the club and game of tennis in the local community.

Yvonne runs a number of programs to foster the inclusion of underrepresented groups in tennis, including people with disabilities, multicultural communities, children with autism and people who identify as LGBTIQ.


Kyvalley Tennis Club

Kyvalley is a small club doing big things. The community of 329 permanent residents incorporates a hall, community park / pool, and the tennis club. Nestled amongst dairy farms about two and a half hours from Melbourne, the club and its facilities are driven by the community.

With drought and economic conditions impacting the livelihoods of the local residents, the club is striving – and succeeding – in providing a social outlet that brings the community together.

The little club has a big heart that helps keep the community alive and has seen significant growth over the past year, including a 149 per cent membership increase, from 105 to 261.

The club also completed two major infrastructure additions in the last year after securing funding through a Community Shade Grant and Pick My Project.


Dylan Alcott

Dylan Alcott continues to be a positive role model for not only other tennis players and athletes with a disability but the wider community.

Over the nomination period, Dylan regained his No.1 ranking after winning the AO in 2019 and went on to win the inaugural Quad event at the French Open (Quad singles and doubles) and Wimbledon (Quad singles and doubles). Dylan has now competed in and won all four Grand Slams.

He continues to represent tennis with humility; competing to the end, committed to the process and is respectful of his environment and fellow players.


Shirley Whitaker

Shirley skyrocketed to world No.1 in June this year following her victory in the 85+ singles events in the Austrian Senior Championships and the European Senior Championships. She also competed at the ITF World Team Championships where she won all of her doubles matches.

Shirley was also a finalist at the World Individual Championships, losing only one match in the round robin competition.

Although Shirley is a quiet player, her determination and friendliness sees her highly respected amongst her tennis peers.


Cooper White

Fresh off his Junior Davis Cup appearance for Australia, Cooper White has claimed back to back Junior Athlete of the Year – Male titles at the Victorian Tennis Awards.

Cooper’s progress over a number of years has seen 2018/19 deliver some strong results on court. Titles in Indonesia and New Zealand came off the back of a wonderful win at the 16/u Australian Championships in doubles.

His big highlight came in April 2019 when he was selected to represent Australia at the Junior Davis Cup qualifying tie in Thailand.


Melbourne Tennis Month

During February 2019, Melbourne Tennis Month actively engaged more than 3600 participants across Melbourne’s metropolitan councils.

Approximately 163 clubs were involved in the initiative with more than 450 free tennis events taking place during the month. There was something for everyone with inclusion programs, seniors, children and families all able to access tennis.


Tennis Victoria Country Week

With 1200+ participants involved, Tennis Victoria Country Week is regarded as the largest community tennis event in the world.

Hosted in regional locations around the state, this event has participants travelling from all over the country and injecting substantial money into the local economy.

During the event, participants have access to a variety of health activations, giving those that may not have access an opportunity to receive basic health information.