20 November 2020 | Tennis West

WA played host to Australia’s largest Red Ball Gala event with 300 students hitting the courts of Alexander Park Tennis Club on Friday 13 November for the Catholic Primary Schools Sporting Associations annual competition.

The 300 years 5 and 6 students came together from 13 metropolitan Catholic primary schools for the interschool round robin event, with the match play format aimed at ensuring the delivery of a fun and social team tennis competition.

With students proudly hitting the courts as school representatives, the day encouraged participation for all abilities and focused on skill acquisition and sportsmanship, aimed at establishing the foundations for continued participation and enjoyment.

Working closely with teachers from Tennis Australia partner schools throughout the year, Tennis West Schools Development Coordinator Jenna Sparkes says the Red Ball Gala events are a wonderful culmination to the schools’ national curriculum aligned tennis programs which run throughout the year.

“The Red Ball Gala interschool event is a great way to get kids from a host of different schools all together on court for a mass participation round robin competition,”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the kids to put the skills they’ve learnt at school into a match play environment whilst competing against kids of similar ability,’

“The kids love the opportunity to represent their school and it’s available to all students irrespective of their ability,”

“The Red Ball Gala is a fantastic culmination event for the students who have been doing tennis during school PE lessons,”

“And to see 300 kids on court putting their new skills into practice whilst also having a great time, is great reward for the work that’s done by everybody throughout the year,” Sparkes said.

Understanding the health and wellbeing benefits afforded by physical activity and in particular those from tennis, local coaches were also involved in the event with the aim of helping to transition players along the tennis pathway from school participation to club level participation in both coaching and competition streams.

Given the 2018 Mayo Clinic report findings* that tennis players live some 9.7 years longer than participants of other sports and activities, the key driver is in helping to transition junior players along the tennis pathway is the overarching goal of long term enjoyment and participation.

Representative schools
Mary MacKillop Community PS
St Kieran Catholic PS
St Helena’s Catholic PS
Our Lady of Assumption Catholic PS
Good Shepherd Catholic PS
Infant Jesus School
Ursula Frayne Catholic College
St. Peter’s Primary School
Our Lady of Grace Primary School
Aranmore Catholic Primary School
Holy Cross College
St Columbus
St Brigid’s PS

Tennis Australia Partner Schools Program
Tennis Australia’s School Partnership Program aims to encourage more children to pick up a racquet and learn tennis as part of their health and physical education curriculum. Thanks to Tennis Australia’s partnership with ANZ, more than 170,000 tennis racquets have been delivered to pre- primary school students since January 2015.

Benefits of Tennis Australia’s Partner School Program includes a host of resources and including; access to National Curriculum aligned tennis programs, tennis equipment packs, professional learning for teachers and free racquets for pre-primary students.

To find out more about Tennis Australia’s School Partnership Program, head to:

Mayo Clinic Study