Monday, December 16, 2013

A Sad Reflection on Tennis in NZ by Clem Apted Piako Tennis Coach

It was only by chance that I discovered what remains of the once flourishing Hinuera Tennis Club. Hinuera is a small Town between Matamata and Tirau, slightly off the beaten track but boasting an excellent Primary School, well maintained Rugby grounds and a nice Bowling Club.There in the middle of all this is the Tennis Club, four Courts that once saw hundreds of  matches are now covered in moss and grime. I looked through a grubby window into the Club house, and saw a box of Trophies and an Honours Board acknowledging the Ladies' and Men's Club Champions from years past, on the floor were a couple of old nets in pretty good condition, not so the moss covered nets on the Courts. I asked the Receptionist at the Primary School what happened to the old Club, her reply, ‘don’t know’.  There are a lot of questions to ask about the demise of a once active Tennis Club that once  competed in the local competitions, held there Club Champs and had loads of Juniors, it was like a scene from the Twilight Zone!, fortunately vandals haven’t wrecked the place, only time and a complete lack of interest. The question what went wrong?, who is to blame?, Tennis Clubs used to be the centre of activity in Country Towns,what happened to the members?, do you blame the Local Council for not keeping it going?, why didn’t the Schools next door take over the Club and use the facilities, were NZ Tennis aware of what was happening?. My purpose of visiting the School was to promote my Tennis Programme with the obvious aim of getting kids playing the sport, some how I doubt they will be venturing next door to the Hinuera Tennis Club.     Clem Apted coaches at 5 Tennis Clubs, including Award Winning Te Aroha and Tatuanui Clubs, the smallest Club he Coaches at is Tirau that has nine Juniors, he is a Registered NZ Tennis Coach.

I told you Tennis is just for the rich----Wake Up Tennis Australia

I am infuriated at the cost to succeed in tennis, Please take the time to read what is happening across the ditch, as Tennis New Zealand copy's most things it wont be long before this happens here.

Former Davis Cup player Richard Fromberg, now a private coach, agrees that the result of a flawed system is that the rich go further, while the poor stay home. ''I just think that the points-based system has to be strongly reviewed,'' says Fromberg. ''Not enough kids are getting the opportunity for this coming tournament, and the rankings are completely false, because the points-based system is encouraging kids to travel to remote places, and it's favouring the kids that are financially well-off that can afford to do so.''

Tennis Australia has changed its eligibility to National Junior Events. Read the article and uproar here , LINK

Is this growing the game?Distance is a huge problem in Australia and as you read the article juniors are cheating the system by entering Australian Money Tournaments to increase their ranking points to qualify for Nationals.

I will be adding my views to the release of TNZ High Performance program and the Elite Targeted Athlete , just need to think it through and weigh up CEO John's comments "But don’t expect immediate results says Johns who stresses that the new Targeted Athlete strategy is a long term plan saying “we are not expecting the four selected players to win every match they play from now on-wards as its about potential and how we can collectively harness that potential to ensure that they are the very best prepared to take on the rigors of a touring tennis professional" says Johns .Forgive me readers I am a little skeptical with these comments from the former Surf Life Saver.