It’s the summer of tennis and, with the recent successes of Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur, interest in the sport at grassroots level is expected to grow.
According to Kathy Sly, president of Queanbeyan Park Tennis Club (QPTC), “the Australian Open motivates people to come out of the woodwork”.
“Having the Australian Open happening in January definitely gets people excited about tennis and if Aussies are doing well it’s even better,” added QPTC head coach, Ben Trudinger.
According to Ben, the many benefits of playing tennis include developing fundamental athletic skills such as balance, fitness and hand-eye coordination, while Kathy said the social aspect is also appealing.
And it’s a sport suitable for all ages, as illustrated by 85-year-old Dick Brian and four-year-old youngsters Hayden Bowles and Robert Thompson.
Dick now plays social games on Tuesdays and Sundays having joined the club in the early 1970s. He said “over the years, the best part of tennis has been the social part of it and meeting people”.
Hayden, who has been playing for 12 months, came to the sport because he wants to be like his ‘Poppy’, while for Robert, who is in his second term, his mother Karyn said “it was his attitude: ‘I want to go play tennis, Mum’.”
“He sees tennis on the TV and wants to play it; he grabs a racquet and plays in the lounge room,” she said.
Robert has half-hour lessons once a week and Karyn said it’s a good sport to play as “it teaches them discipline, co-ordination, teaches them to be a bit energetic and passionate about what they do.”
For more information, visit parksidetennis.com.au
Aussies win Manuka Test
Australia completed a clean sweep series victory over Sri Lanka on Monday 4 February, defeating the visitors by 366 runs at Manuka Oval in Canberra. Mitchell Starc was named player of the match finishing with a 10-wicket haul.
In other cricketing news, the ACT Government has announced they are investing up to $2.7 million in new roof canopies at Manuka Oval to provide more shade for up to 1,000 seats by late 2019. The funding will also include a camera deck.
Canberra has been selected to host five ICC Women’s T20 World Cup matches in February 2020. The opening day of action in Canberra, on 26 February, will see England play in the first match of a double header, followed by West Indies clashing with Pakistan. Defending champions Australia will be on show under lights on 27 February with another doubleheader on 28 February with South Africa in action in the afternoon game, followed by England and Pakistan. Qualifier teams will be confirmed mid-year.
At a glance
Lealiifano to lead Brumbies
Christian Lealiifano has been named as the Brumbies captain for the 2019 Super Rugby campaign with David Pocock named vice-captain. The Brumbies season begins with a home match against the Rebels on Friday 15 February at GIO Stadium, 7.45pm kick-off. In other club news, Sam Carter will head to Ireland at the end of the Super Rugby season having signed a two-year deal with Ulster.
Triathlon festival on Saturday
The 2019 Proximity Canberra Triathlon Festival is being held on Saturday 9 February, beginning at Rond Terrace in Canberra.
ACT athletes in national team
Athletics Australia has announced the teams for the 2019 World Cross Country Championships following selection trials held on Sunday 27 January at Stromlo Park in Canberra. ACT athletes Leanne Pompeani and Emily Brichacek have been selected in Open Women.
Hart off to championships
ACT cyclist Nathan Hart is set to compete at the 2019 UCI Track World Championships in Poland (27 February to 3 March) after being selected in the 17-rider Australian team.