VICTORIAN tennis officials say they want to boost popularity of the sport in the south-west.
Tennis Victoria representatives last night ran a forum in Warrnambool that they hoped would help strengthen clubs and boost participation.
The governing body wants to lift player numbers in Victoria from 120,000 to 200,000 by 2016 and believes it can achieve the target by engaging with grassroots participants.
Victorian country tennis manager Adam Crameri said a new country region servicing strategy would help head office connect with regional clubs.
Crameri said the strategy aimed to “provide a better service to our country affiliates”.
“We’re rolling that out through a number of localised forums in each of the 11 regions,” he said.
“These forums will consist of a set agenda, but we’re trying to engage the clubs in the region to discuss local issues they’re encountering and how Tennis Victoria can provide support to address those local issues. Part of the forum will be developing localised action plans for the clubs and the region, which gives Tennis Victoria staff guidance to provide services for those clubs.”
Tennis Victoria’s new western Victoria community tennis officer Sue Dundas ran the Warrnambool forum last night.
Dundas will also meet with Warrnambool City Council and South West Sport representatives today and tomorrow.
Crameri said tennis was becoming more popular throughout Victoria, but the number of signed-up members at clubs had dropped.
He said the sport was in a healthy state, but there was room to cement its status as one of summer’s premier sports.
“Some of the things in the south-west (we’ve identified) are a lack of qualified coaches and that we need to increase participation also and increase membership,” he said.
“We’ll put in place a few structures to ensure we can try and address those to the best we can with the clubs down there.”