Potts twins hold Parkes' first tennis holiday camp in 25 years

It's been 25 years since a junior tennis holiday camp has been held in Parkes and given its great response last week, there could be more to come.

That's what parents and even organiser Phoebe Potts are hoping for.

The camp ran for three days over three hours in the mornings from January 22 to 24 at the Parkes Tennis Club and was open to children from four to 12 years old.

Parents could register their child for one, two or all three days.

In total 36 children, all from Parkes, took part in the camp, with its biggest day being Wednesday when 28 participants arrived at the courts in Victoria Street.

"It was definitely surprising numbers," Phoebe said.

"There weren't many [registered] before Christmas but over new year it boomed.

"It's my first time doing this... I'd definitely consider doing more because it was such a success and the response from parents who said their kids loved it, it gave them more opportunities and was something different to do."

The camp came about when Phoebe - who's been coaching tennis for four years now and was named Parkes' Young Citizen of the Year on Australia Day - pitched the idea to head tennis coach Helen Magill in early December.

After completing her Higher School Certificate last year at Parkes High School - along with her twin sister Hannah, who's been coaching for three years - this was their last season of coaching before they both headed off to university this year.

It was our last year of coaching so I wanted one last hurrah with the kids.

Phoebe Potts

The pair will be studying at the University of Wollongong - Phoebe is doing a Bachelor of Public Health degree, with electives more focused on sport science, and Hannah a double degree in media and communications, and law.

"It was our last year of coaching so I wanted one last hurrah with the kids," Phoebe said.

"Being the school holidays I thought it was a good time to get the kids out and about being active rather than looking at screens.

"I knew it had been a long time since one was on.

"Helen was on board with it and I knew because of her busy schedule she wouldn't be able to run it and so I knew I'd have to take the reins.

"Helen is always keen for us to try anything new and support us in that."

Fellow club volunteer Brendon Hunt helped to set up an online registration and away they went.

The camp involved multi-sport activities, obstacle courses and games that focused on hand-eye coordination.

Phoebe had the help of Hannah and they were able to split the children into two groups, with the older kids' activities more skill-based, focused on strategy, drills and team work.

The younger group enjoyed races, target practice and games that had them thinking more strategically.

GREAT TURNOUT: Phoebe Potts (right) was surprised 36 children in total registered over the three days for the camp. Photo: Christine Little

GREAT TURNOUT: Phoebe Potts (right) was surprised 36 children in total registered over the three days for the camp. Photo: Christine Little

Helen used to run holiday camps regularly before her children went to school. Then after that the only time she was able to spend with them was during school holidays, so she had no choice but to stop holding them.

Even though her children are now 29 and 26, trips away to tournaments with groups of young, eager tennis players have replaced the camp in the school holidays over the last 10 to 15 years.

Phoebe said she loved getting involved with the kids.

"I love seeing the kids smiling and having fun," she said.

"Something so simple can spark so much happiness.

"I love influencing young minds in any way I can, some people don't realise how easily you can make someone's day.

"It's such a weird feeling," Phoebe said of her long-term students who attended the camp.

"I've had these kids since they were little, to see them grow is so special."

Phoebe wanted to say a huge thank you to the Parkes Tennis Club and Helen Magill for all of their support.

"I definitely wouldn't be the person I am today without them," she said.

"And thank you to the parents for getting on board with the camp because it wouldn't have been possible without them."