Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I pull my Hair out trying to understand Tennis in New Zealand- by Tony Osborne

I am really a fan of tennis but living in New Zealand its just a thought bubble that bursts rather quickly for most people.In fact the trouble with the governing body I am pretty sure they govern by thought bubbles.I try not to go on the TNZ website but I subscribe to the newsletter passing shots sometimes I think it should be named passing wind.I have not written for the eye for sometime but I thought I should once again add my opinions.I am disgusted that no Live Wimbledon is available for non Sky subscribers, I cant afford it and don't like giving money to tycoons like Rupert Murdoch.

Thanks Passing shots for keeping us up to date with Wimbledon airing maybe you were to embarrassed to publish the fact but then when the CEO newsletter has this to say "Whilst most of us are well and truly in hibernation mode for the winter, there are a number of Kiwi tennis players flying the flag in the northern hemisphere." Mr Johns have not you and your High Performance team thought that playing tennis for about 5-6 months of the year is a major problem we have in trying to promote and develop the sport and world class tennis players?.Now I just wanted to make sure that they had identified this in the new strategy papers and guess what NO! You made a correct call Mr CEO! tennis is indeed in Hibernation.

I have asked the "eye" could I include a response from former National tennis Coach Mike Mooney and below is his opinion and observations.

The near demise and extinction of the team events 12's 14's 16's along with the 18's several years ago .Basically wipes out any other system other than an elite pay as you can afford system.We see this in the elite schools now dominating sport.

No longer are players from lower social  economic backgrounds able to advance in the sport of tennis Money or the lack of it has cut funding to our National teams dismantled any level playing field.

Thanks to Mr Johns and the former Chairman successive chairs and CEOs we have a desert for opportunity.

Is it any wonder players are seeking other homes in other countries. So much for the rock Star economy

I constantly am in touch with other sports coaches and administrators and it is obvious we have a take over from the top down. Funding to pay the astronomical salaries of our so called elite administrators enables very little of the remaining funds to reach the development levels in the regions.

We are now seeing Regional program's being substituted by a National system which has become God in determining who will succeed . This system was tried and failed in the 90's failed No one can pick and choose who wins and who losers at the age of 7 or 8 years of age.

Centralization of the sports,many have been shifted to the Millennium center, ensures not only the rest of NZ being disenfranchised but concentrates all the decision making in one small area with a small group of elites.

Our own swim coach, surf life saving, CEO has unfettered license to further harm Tennis and our game.
When are we as a Nation going to understand centralization of power and resources only leads to more waste,less vision,corruption and fraud.

The current situation mirrors not just sport but our entire Westminster democracy.

We see less referendum less discussion and we are heading towards situation where all the assets accumulated over 160 years of sweat and blood are going to all end up in one balance sheet. Sparc or whoever they determine to call themselves. Re branding does not exonerate the sins of the past.

What we have here is less democracy more centralization. My only suggestion is if NZ Tennis continue to refuse to listen to the voices of discontent common sence and will not acknowledge the dire state of the game and here I Quote Onny Parun we sit at the edge of oblivion. Then oblivion is what we reap.

Then I say there is only one solution get out and stop feeding the parasite that is making a meal out of our game its history and the good tennis people who still process a passion for the game at the grass roots level.

Ask one simple question for all my compliance costs and my fees what have I really got that is worth staying in the system?

Vote now for tennis and for all those in other sports watching their sports be hi -jacked by Govt or Corporate interests I say do the same. Begin again at the bottom where it all began any way.

Leave,starve the beast.Go back and concentrate on the clubs save the affiliation fees and put them into players and player's development.

I say the same for all the other sports.Diversity of thought and practice is what made us successful. I have no desire to be cloned into NZ Tennis image of where they think the game should go.Vote with your feet and your money save it for groceries or your kids

Please comment it is still your right to have an opinion

Michael Mooney former NZ player and coach

I found the above very interesting and also more of CEO John's newsletter

"Tennis NZ recently received praise for its new Participation and Coaching Strategies. Both strategies have been listed in a new “Planning in Sport” document published by Sport New Zealand as being examples of “best practice” in the sector."

I am now starting to worry about this as I have read the strategy's and if they have been praised did people who have read them really and truly take this as gospel and Sport New Zealand do you really understand Tennis in New Zealand?If you did then you would know their are very large black holes in each document! The recent National Juniors Teams event not one mention of it being part of the High Performance Strategy!In fact you may as well say it was overlooked and tried to be put in hibernation permanently.

Michael touched on the expense of tennis , not one plan to keep Juniors involved in this sport.Again coming back to the newsletter I was ashamed and embarrassed that TNZ has to resort to this "Last week, our Boys 14U NZ team of Finn Reynolds, Macsen Sisam and Chris Zhang, departed for Europe to commence preparation for the 2014 ITF World Junior Tennis World Finals in Prostejov, Czech Republic (4-9 August). This is the first time since 2006 that a Kiwi boys team has qualified for the World Finals where they will compete against 15 other nations to determine the World Champions for 2014. We wish the team and Captain Marcel Vos, all the very best for the tournament. As we mentioned last week, we are trialing a new fundraising strategy for this tour via Givealittle. Please visit the View the Tennis NZ 14U Boys Team cause page for more information. Thank you for your support! "

So with interest I went to the site and the headline was this


Now I congratulate all the boys who achieved this a great effort but I condemn TNZ for not financing this and asking for donations!I really could help in freeing up finances for TNZ 

Stop  the waste and if you want an example flying and accommodating the special Think tank group in Auckland just Skype! The think tank group is made up off TNZ selected people from each region.This is on top of regional CEO's meetings which should of already discussed regional matters and idea's. This is  just one I have a few more.

As I read further I started pulling more hair from my head! While in Europe, the boys will be joined by targeted athletes Valentina Ivanov, Tiana Windbuchler and Tharubphet Homkrun. Also joining the tour is Emelia Price from the Southern region and Tennis NZ coach Lan Bale. The Europe Tour is considered an important piece of Tennis New Zealand’s new Players Development Strategy, giving New Zealand’s top juniors the opportunity to train and compete on clay, an unfamiliar surface to most Kiwis.

So I did some research on these players one is only 10 or just turned 11 can I ask which sensible Coach or National body would suggest an undertaking of this magnitude for a junior such as this that still cries under duress of matches! This is a big mistake Tennis NZ and Sport New Zealand...simply at this age they are not ready and who knows what true potential will be! 10 and 11 and even 12 are way to young , even Tennis Australia do not take this on for this age ...gets me thinking that's why parents with stars in their eye will go for this...( current NZ But can change citizenship at a later date)

Some  cannot beat their peers locally in Australasia and until that can happen in the 14 age group forget 150 in the world.Now I also found out Lan Bale is not there until after Wimbledon commitments with Michael Venus who is playing doubles.They get a replacement some local yokel from the South Island instead of the experienced Bale.

This week I again mistakenly read Passing Shots and I found a report on what is happening with the targeted tennis players in Europe who after reading the strategy papers will be Top 150 in 6 years time ...did you read this Sport New Zealand?

If only Marina Erakovic had these strategy's when she was young she could be world number 1 not hovering around 50 .

Tennis New Zealand High Performance Coach Marcel Vos reports from Holland.
 The training here at the Academy in Amsterdam is a fantastic opportunity for Tennis New Zealand’s Targeted Athletes to train, adjust to claycourt tennis, and prepare for the upcoming tournament schedule. Its a fantastic facility with 16 outdoor clay and 8 indoor courts, gym, physio, basketbal, table tennis and a great restaurant. We have been running a full time tennis program which includes physical and mental support as well as yoga sessions. 
There is also a brand new on court analyses tool available to us which is an amazing new tool measuring everything you can imagine. 
This new feature, PlaySight TM Smart Court, is installed on 2 courts and features a game changing after action review system. With just 4 fully automated cameras PlaySight Smart Court gives real-time and after action review with complete debriefing solutions, auto stats, biomechanical analysis and 3D tactical game management. All your activity and motion are automatically recorded, analyzed and uploaded into the where you can review your performance instantly and share it with others.
Sounds like they are having a wonderful time at Disneyland, nice restaurant, 
and the Playsight Ride hope they use the fast pass for that. If only this was a
around when Rafael Nadal was younger he would of become World Number 1 .
whoops he is World No 1.Maybe NZ players are like the British 

Britain's young tennis players are too soft and lazy to make it to the top says the new chief of the LTA

Michael Downey says talented youngsters have it too good in this country and must toughen up and learn to fight for their lives


Well tomorrow I'm going to submit Part 2 . But this is enough hair pulling for one day!


  1. Which brainless over paid staff member came up with the Donation is a another money saver ..sack that person.

  2. I know the parent of one of the targeted tennis players in Europe complete nutter , over the top living the dream in the kid

  3. Johns would have to be looking for another job, the big problem for him is how to explain the demise of the organisation that he is in charge of! The Tennis NZ Board really has a lot to answer for as well, Jeff Auckland.