I have always had the view that Tennis New Zealand never valued this event and does not understand why it should be one of the events to receive financial support and backing by the governing body.I know that many juniors play tennis,go to tournaments seek extra coaching to make their regional team to play at Nationals its a great goal for most junior players wanting to take their tennis to the next level.
For an isolated region such as the Southern Region ,Juniors making teams for Nationals are inspired by this event to keep playing tennis , take events such as this out of the pathway then you will lose juniors to other sports.
This year Tennis Northern one of the 6 regions has indicated they are not sending any Junior teams to this event in any age groups. Waikato another one of the 6 regions are not sending a 16 girls team to this event in April.
First of all I have read the excuses and all I can say is SHAME! your feeble excuses do not add up. I can remember when they condensed the regions from 8 to 6 for the better of the game, a move that has not worked especially when two main players cannot field teams.
What Tennis New Zealand fail to realize this event encompasses all players the elite (nationally ranked) and the juniors not so high on National rankings and rest assure that the Local Tennis communities will be benefiting from the later as Parents and Juniors of ranked players chase unrealistic dreams.The 3 4s and 5s of a regional team are the heart and sole of tennis.. the players that do not want to travel on the pro circuit and are vital to clubs and associations for local competitions and local events and local tournaments.
OK! I was critical of the regions earlier in my article but it is Tennis New Zealand that needs the biggest serve in devaluing this event.A few years ago they stopped funding regions to help cover costs to send teams. The powers then decided to change the event from January to April ...the reason because all the top ranked Juniors would be available every one knows this has not been the case and just added costs to families to play this event in April.
It always followed a National tournament in January it made sense..more players play the national title event and then follow up by the teams events.Common SENSE for most.
Take a look on the TNZ website and their new Strategy papers that has just as many spelling mistakes as I have on my blog.NOT ONE MENTION IN THEIR PLANS OF THE NATIONAL JUNIOR TEAMS EVENT!. Below is areas of their tennis competitions focus.
The national secondary school Competition is for
boys, girls and mixed teams across the country. The
competition gives players the chance to compete
against some of the best players in the country.
Teams first play in a Region-wide competition with
the top two teams in each Region progressing
through to the national finals. The finals are held
in different location each year but are always run
during Easter weekend. The national competition
and local Inter school competitions will be reviewed
and revamped if necessary with the singular goal of
getting more teenagers playing tennis.
Yes to some extent however Schools competition are just that School competitions you need the next level which are National Teams events built by you regions clubs and associations.
The current state of tennis participation and
competition in tertiary institutions will be reviewed
with a view to building a stronger tennis presence
at universities and polytechnics. The establishment
of tennis clubs and creating more opportunities
for regular casual play at both universities and
polytechnics will be explored to better engage with
the 450,000 people enrolled in tertiary institutions
throughout new Zealand.
Good luck with this one! New Zealand Culture shows that this age group has other things on their mind than tennis! You will not break this culture!
The possibility of reviving the once fiercely
competitive national Tennis League will be
explored. This national competition once served
to keep the more competitive adult players in the
game and inspired people to represent their area.
A national adult competition will inspire people to
start or continue playing to compete against each
other in a bid to become national champions in a
similar way to the national competitions of other
Yep propping up old players and paying them ridiculous amounts to represent a region.I have highlighted a ridiculous statement , get your head out of the sand TNZ you have this with the Junior Teams event and you are instilling what you say at this junior event!.Get rid of the National Junior Teams event! continue not to fund these event !, continue to overlook them in your Junior pathways! then WHY on earth would you have players to play at Adult level!
When I first arrived in New Zealand I was very impressed with the National Junior Teams event, I went on to Win Gold, Silver and Bronze as coach with junior Southern Teams over a 10 year period.I urge the tennis community to value this event and place more emphasis and create more funding to what is a great event and a highlight of most Junior tennis players sporting goals!
*The Junior National Teams events bring all of New Zealand's regional juniors together playing in 12s 14s 16s boys and girls age group. This year Auckland ,Hamilton and Christchurch are hosting age groups.