Tennis has always been a massive sport in Australia, as one of the first countries in the world to embrace the game Australia has been at the forefront of the development of the sport.
Although in the formative years tennis was perceived as an elite sport for the upper middle classes, Australia soon broke that myth. Tennis was and is for the people and now the game is becoming popular with the indigenous people also.
A recent leadership camp in partnership with Tennis Australia was held for 14 Indigenous Youth Academy members in Darwin.
Tennis Australia’s National Indigenous Coach, Ian Googalong accompanied three participants from Evonne Goolagong Foundation’s National Development Camp to the Top End to take part.
Participants from Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative and Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative attended, together with players from the Indigenous Young Leaders Camp.
Batchelor Area School
The camp saw participants visit Batchelor Area School to run a tennis clinic, as well as other various activities, cultural awareness sessions and dinners with key leaders. Whilst in Darwin the group also visited Litchfield National Park.
The whole time, Goolagong travelled alongside the camp aiming to instill a sense of empowerment and leadership within the group and the wider local community.
The entire program was created by Anglicare Victoria in partnership with Tennis Australia, Essendon Football Club and the Long Walk and is a fantastic way to develop the four values of culture, aspiration, education and leadership within the indigenous people.
The ultimate aim is to empower and inspire participants to have the confidence to take ownership of their actions and then to positively impact their own communities. The scheme provided an opportunity to take young players to different communities which is important to provide an insight into the impact their leadership can have on the community, and how they can develop the values of indigenous culture further.
The Role of Tennis
Sport is integral to building healthy habits for kids and providing opportunities throughout their lives. Tennis in particular is a sport that can help develop children’s physical and mental wellbeing.
As National Indigenous Coach, Goolagong has inspired kids to finish school, and empowered them to be leaders in their community and to teach the importance of taking ownership of actions and decisions.
The development of young indigenous players is typical of what Tennis Australia is all about concerning youth development as a whole in regards to tennis in Australia. Tennis Australia believes that the sport is for everybody, and not just the privileged few.
A tennis club can be ideal to develop your game and to grow as an individual, as you will meet people from all walks of life, different cultures and ethnicity all coming together for the love of sport.
If you live in Sydney then contact Tennis World Rushcutters Bay for details of joining and membership.