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.


  1. As Apted says who is to blame? Tennis NZ , if they got out more should have been aware of the situation with this Club and others in Rural NZ and could have done something. OK it's not Tennis NZ's fault but for God's sake isn't it their job to promote and foster Tennis in this Country?, Tony Wellington.

  2. Really sad and an obvious reflection on our sport and where our so called leadership both past and present have led us. Some how they won't be holding the Heineken Open at Hinuera, Cheers!