Tennis Canterbury courts new players with support from NZCT

“Tennis Canterbury is about making it easy for everyone to discover (or re-discover) tennis and to help our players find enjoyment through tennis for life"
General Manager Bevan Johns

Tennis Canterbury members, players, and coaches alike were all thrilled to learn that NZCT had awarded $60,000 as salary support for Tennis Canterbury so that more people can play tennis.

General Manager Bevan Johns says, “Tennis Canterbury delivers services to over 7,000 members and a further 30,000+ participants in various programmes and casual participation opportunities. We requested funding support from NZCT on an annual basis in order to keep participation costs low and ensure they are not a barrier to participation.”

“Tennis Canterbury is about making it easy for everyone to discover (or re-discover) tennis and to help our players find enjoyment through tennis for life. Our player programmes range from beginner Hotshots (where young players start with smaller racquets and soft larger balls) to player development pathways designed for juniors to progress from local to national and in some cases international competition.”

“This grant will allow us to continue to focus on participation and development initiatives, enabling our players to reach their potential at all levels.”
General Manager Bevan Johns

“During the current season we trialled the first iteration of the Canterbury Player Development Programme in preparation for the Annual National Teams event. The region's top six girls and six boys in the 12U, 14U and 17U age groups got together weekly to practice and prepare for the event. Training included doubles strategy, mental preparation, fitness and nutrition planning.”

“The programme was extremely successful, as recent national individual and doubles championships have reflected. Canterbury’s Lucia Gale won the 14U title, beating another Canterbury player, Dallas King-Ehau, in the final. Lucia also won the doubles title and then competed in the 16U nationals where she won the doubles. Alvin Na won the 12U boys singles and doubles final, while Aliyah Daly won the 12U girls doubles. Last year, five Canterbury players (including Lucia) competed in national teams in Australia.”

“Local coach Stuart Chalmers also ran a joint Tennis Canterbury/Tennis New Zealand Regional Programme for 11 to 14-year-old players at Wilding Park. The programme’s goal was to bring our best players together for training while at the same time respecting the relationship the players have with individual coaches. As well as on-court coaches, a group of staff with expertise in other aspects including strength and conditioning supported the programme.”

“This programme ensures opportunities for our junior players to train together,” Chalmers adds. “We are now looking to extend it for players in the 15+ age bracket. We need to keep these young talented players in the game.”

Interesting facts and background

Tennis Canterbury manages the regional facility, player development, tournaments, and interclub competitions.

Tennis Canterbury is committed to player development for all ages and abilities.

Tennis Canterbury has a strong wheelchair tennis community with Travis Moffat winning the recent national singles title and Glenn Barnes finishing runner up. The two went on to win the doubles championship.

Tennis Seniors is also strong in the region, and we also have partnerships to ensure diversity, including with the Tongan Tennis community which is now affiliated to Tennis Canterbury.

We deliver tennis to our community through coaching, training opportunities, competitions, events and tournaments. Over 1,500 juniors and 550 adults compete in summer interclub in the wider Christchurch region alone.

We provide quality and accessible facilities regionally. The historic Wilding Park Facility is the largest sports complex in the east. It has six indoor courts, eighteen outdoor courts, and a function centre. We also maintain courts at the multi-sport complex, Ngā Puna Wai. NZCT granted $1m to Ngā Puna Wai.

With twenty-nine member facilities, we support tennis clubs and members in our region to grow and diversify participation.

Our participants range from two to ninety years.

We have a small staff and are supported by a network of clubs, coaches and volunteers.