27 July 2022 | Tennis West

A few members of the Tennis West team recently traded Perth’s cool winter for the sunny skies of regional north WA. Covering over 2000kms, the team travelled to the Pilbara region and engaged with tennis clubs, schools, local government, coaches and deliverers, and the wider communities in Karratha, Dampier, Tom Price and Paraburdoo to help increase Tennis West’s presence in regional areas to service, support and sustain our sport.

Days 1 – 3: Karratha

Initially taking stop at Karratha, the team started the trip at the Pilbara Sports Forum which was an opportunity to present on how Tennis West is activating the regions for the 2022 – 2023 including data collection from clubs, engaging local government areas, connecting with local schools and the introduction of alternative tennis programs such as Cardio Tennis. Meeting with the City of Karratha to build an action plan to invigorate the area, the team then met with Karratha Tennis Club, discussing the support the club needs and how to best improve court access and court availability to increase participation and engage with the community.

Jumping on court at Dampier Tennis Club, the team ran a fun and energetic session for youngsters aged 6 – 12, helping them with tennis skills and providing an opportunity to be active and meet their peers.

Day 4: Travel

Day 5: Tom Price

Driving nearly 350kms to Tom Price, the team hit up the first school of the trip, delivering an on court session for the Year 3-5 students and introducing many to their first tennis experience. The Tom Price Tennis Club met with the Tennis West team to continue conversations from last year and make plans for the year ahead. This was followed by a Cardio Tennis session for a mix of participants, enjoying a tennis-inspired workout set to upbeat music.

Day 5: Paraburdoo

Day five saw the team hit up the 1960s mining town of Paraburdoo, taking over the primary school and tennis club to run on court sessions to the students and build a plan for the tennis club’s upcoming year.

Returning to Perth with red-soled shoes, the trip allowed the team to engage deeply with local communities and understand more about the best ways Tennis West can support clubs, schools, LGAs, coaches and deliverers.

Tennis West Regional Lead – North Samantha Gulliver said the trip was an opportunity to explore the diverse tennis landscape in WA.

“The opportunity to be on the ground in these tight-knit communities showcased just how important sport is in regional communities and allowed us to learn more about the vast differences between tennis clubs and schools throughout WA,” said Samantha.

“Through our conversations and on court sessions, we were able to further consider how the future of tennis in regional WA can develop to best serve the communities that live there.”

“The vibrant community spirit in regional towns such as Tom Price and Paraburdoo is incredibly rich—the people really are the lifeblood of the towns. To hear their stories and experience the lifestyle was really worthwhile as we further develop plans to create a sustainable and viable future for these wonderful communities,” added Samantha.

Hearing from those in the northern WA community helped the team in their development of a Regional Servicing Plan, with support and guidance from key stakeholder who are directly involved in the development and delivery of tennis in regional WA. The Plan will focus on providing a model for tennis across three significant pillars: Service, Sustainability and Support for the future.