The Sydney International started on the weekend and this year Parkes Tennis will be well represented.
Already in action have been ball kids Abbey Kennedy, Nia Boggs, Maddy and Lily McCormick. They arrived last Wednesday for final training and briefing and were super excited to receive their uniforms which they get to keep along with their special accreditations. It is a huge commitment to be in the ball kid team having to attend compulsory training sessions in Sydney, Bathurst and Dubbo over the past nine months. The girls were involved in qualifying matches on the weekend and then main draw matches throughout the day and night sessions during this week. Look out for our girls on the Show courts on television.
Yesterday Helen was involved in a Women in Coaching forum where female coaches from predominantly City areas came together to discuss some of their challenges and the excitement of TennisNSW supporting more female only coaching courses throughout this year. Helen sat on a Q&A panel where she enjoyed sharing her experiences of coaching and growing a business in a male dominated field, training staff and mentoring young coaches and having a positive rapport with schools and the local community.
Today and tomorrow Helen will be part of a workshop with 16 influential women across NSW who will be ambassadors for Judy Murray’s SheRallies program. It will be called Sheroes in NSW and will be empowering females of all ages to connect to tennis. Parkes Tennis is leading the way with a great group of females aged 12 years through to 80 years involved in the Club through assisting with comp, officiating, coaching, volunteering their time in the canteen and on the Committee and TennisNSW were keen to be involved in this concept to encourage girls to continue to enjoy involvement in the sport through their teenage years and beyond.
Tomorrow morning will see local qualified Court Supervisors Caroline Kennedy and Alison McCormick join Tournament Director Helen Magill in a Workshop for all things tournaments including running events and officiating. This is a chance to get together with other tournament teams and discuss challenges and this year player behaviour and respect for officials is on the agenda.
Abbey Kennedy was also part of a Futures Leaders Workshop earlier in the year where 16 year nine and ten students from across NSW who are competent tennis players came together to discuss different areas of tennis behind the scenes and they have been working throughout the second half of the year on a project to improve services at their local clubs which they will be presenting to the group and others tomorrow afternoon after ball kid duties.
Parkes Club Treasurer Brendon Hunt will arrive early on Thursday morning to accompany Helen to a Clubs Masterclass Workshop where speakers will present on topics from grants, local government, membership, marketing and social media expertise areas. Brendon’s wife and Assistant Secretary Sharon will join Brendon in the Presidents Reserve for the day to acknowledge their outstanding efforts in voluntary work for the Club over the past year. They will be hosted by TennisNSW President Mr Kim Warwick.
Four super excited red ball HotShots kids in Jono and Tommy Wilkinson(parents Alex and Sarah) and Anna and Lachy Orr(parents Spike and Kate) can’t wait to get to Sydney tomorrow where they will venture to the Sydney International on Thursday mid morning to be part of the Kids on Court experience. These four juniors have been keen participants throughout 2018 in various events and are really enjoying their tennis so watch the Channel Nine broadcast at the start of the day on the 10th. You may see them playing or making a guard of honour for the players.
Thursday night will see the NSW Coaches Advisory Group meet again for the fourth time this year and although Helen leads this group, it will be an evening to say thanks for their involvement in helping the TennisNSW CEO understand the coaching landscape across NSW and they will enjoy the Presidents Reserve.
Parkes Christian School and Holy Family Schools both took the opportunity to enter a competition to be two of only 16 schools across NSW to play in a schools competition during the Sydney International on the courts adjacent to the players. Both schools were delighted when they received notice late last term of their successful entries and have been gearing up for a tennis experience of a lifetime over the next couple of days. Miss Kristen Barrass from Parkes Christian School and Mr Andrew Berger from Holy Family have both been huge supporters for tennis in their schools this year and it’s been great to see the enthusiasm of the kids and their families for the opportunities the school has offered them.
Parkes Christian School will be represented by Lachlan Unger(parents Peter and Toni), Jack Greenland(parents Michael and Jacquelyn), Ruby Wilson(parents Ben and Angela) and Clare Amery (parents Jarrod and Emma) while Holy Family’s Team will be Hayden Arndell(parents Angus and Leanne), Sam Westcott(parents Ian and Mandy), Tarlei Glastonbury(parents Neil and Lee-Anne) and Charlotte Baird(parents Nick and Kath).
Their families will accompany them to the event and as an added bonus Coach Helen was able to organise for all the siblings to participate in an ‘On Court’ experience which will see ten juniors including Mitchell Unger, Coen Glastonbury, Mitchell Arndell, Chloe Amery, Lara Amery, Elena Glastonbury, Charlotte Wilson, Georgia Baird along with Ethan and Sienna Hunt(parents Brendon and Sharon) playing on Ken Rosewall Arena before the start of play on Friday 11th and then form a guard of honour for the first match players. They will enjoy a tour around the Sydney International Tennis Centre and through the tunnel underneath the centre court, near the media and players area and no doubt their eyes will be popping out looking to see if they can recognise any players.
The eight school team players along with a very excited Miss Barrass and Mr Baird will also accompany the school teams on a pre-competition tour.
And, while all of these extra activities are going on there is a major lead-in tournament to the Australian Open called the Sydney International in full swing where all the Parkes families involved will be perusing the precinct as well as many other Parkes locals making their way to the highly anticipated event.
With eight of the top ten ranked women in the world playing alongside the leading Next Gen men including Alex De Minaur, Kyle Edmund, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Frances Tiafoe, Daniil Medvedev just to name a few, the tournament is a great spectacle. If anyone is in Sydney this week head out to Homebush to see some amazing tennis in both singles and doubles. The practise courts are very accessible to the public too to watch the players working on their games throughout the days. There’s a Country v City junior team challenge in 10s and 12s age divisions and the super impressive wheelchair event for both men and women. Tickets through Ticketek. Up to three kids aged 14 years and under are free for all day sessions with a paying adult. Any other questions give Helen a ring or SMS 0407 253 888.
Check out Parkes Tennis Facebook page for regular updates and pictures throughout the ten days.