Wednesday, 15 April 2015


At last, at long last the results of the Champion of Champions Tennis Tournament have been published in the local Weekender newspaper. Well done to Denmark once again who managed to put together a team good enough to beat every Albany team plus Mt Barker.
What I am still confused about is why did Lawley Park only field a team of three players in a competition that requires eight players per club ?
Is this where the game is at locally and if so how did it actually get this bad ? If you can't fill a team with seniors then why not fill it with juniors ? So where are the juniors ? By all reports this region is going 'gang busters' as far as the juniors are concerned, just read the social media pages, it will tell you that we are overloaded with talent.
As stated in my chapter just recently titled 'ANY LEFT'? published on April 7, 2015 I was well aware of my responsibility as coach of the Lawley Park Tennis Club in Albany. It wasn't just to sneak in, take the money, go on a holiday with it, no it was to look after the club that was looking after me. The way in which we took kids from the junior program to the senior club is what every coach should be doing with every Intermediate to Advanced program they do. It proves that what they are doing has substance and is for the good of the game locally, not just for the pocket.
So here are the facts; Lawley Park is obviously up sh.. creek without a paddle if they can't find enough players to contest a once a year event. It is also blatantly obvious that junior participation at that club is non existent. I am not talking about 6 to 10 year olds, I am talking about the kids who regularly go away for tournaments plus play the local events. Which local club are they members of ? Why aren't they members of Lawley Park as that is Albany's most central club with Albany's best tennis facilities and six recently resurfaced courts ?
Whenever there is a function for local tennis organizations which tennis club is used ? Lawley Park, correct ? When there is a rare senior tennis tournament locally which facility is used ? Either Lawley Park or Emu Point which pretty much is the same for local junior comps also.
So what on earth is happening to Albany's once strongest  tennis club and how with these sorts of examples are the local Council ever going to take seriously the idea of building a new tennis centre ?
They will want to see a vision for the future for the club that will see the courts full again especially on Saturday club days. The young 12 and under juniors in the morning and the better teenagers mixed in with the seniors in the afternoon. For some reason junior club has ceased on Saturday mornings at Lawley Park due to lack of numbers, why is this ?
Some locals need to take their heads out of their own arses and do the sums which I have already done ( not my head out of my arse, I meant I have done the sums ) and realize that clubs such as Lawley Park are victims of a lack of vision.
You can't just teach all of the Intermediate to Advanced juniors at an opposing club then simply use the facilities just when it suits you. You need to do what we did until our program was shot in the arse by a list of things that doesn't get any grubbier than commencing before and after school tennis programs on school grounds. They were in fact less than a kilometre from where kids should be learning, a tennis club.
Tennis Australia programs ? Great idea TA, why don't you find every possible way to f... up the game of tennis in small country towns as well as in the City ey ?? Tennis in schools my arse, it's another way of gaining a monopoly that I have questioned many times before. If every coach of the game went to schools to do their teaching then it would turn into an even bigger circus than what it already is.
 'I was here first, piss off', could you imagine it ?! Who needs a poor struggling tennis club when you are doing it at school ? Fantastic idea.
So what I would suggest is that some locals who are running this sport here in Albany take a long hard look at how they can rebuild a club such as Lawley Park and not just use it as a money making venue. Am I onto something here folks ?  
Part of me is glad I am no longer banging my head against a brick wall at that club as it was stressful to see it slowly but surely fade into oblivion. Yet another part of me almost misses the challenge of constantly trying to prevail against people who think they know the sport locally yet fail miserably when it comes to common sense.
There has been no real vision of what was best for tennis here in Albany and that was in fact gaining members for tennis clubs which inevitably took care of the future of the sport locally.
Making the local tennis clubs the ONLY place to learn was the ONLY way the interest in the sport could have grown to the point where perhaps a bigger facility may have been a vision of reality. Now  days you see up to 18 kids on a court  at school with a young assistant gaining a minimal amount of tennis knowledge who should be spread out over three courts at the local tennis club being taught properly.
Whilst they are being taught properly they can also soak up the atmosphere of a real facility called a TENNIS CLUB. 
That vision however is a thing of the past obviously as for some reason the tennis club is now second on the list of priority venues to learn the game.
Tennis here in Albany has many issues and the recent Champ of Champs proves it with the rather sad case of Lawley Park and it's failure to field a full team. It is also an obvious failure to not have juniors lining the courts on Saturday afternoons as we did just four to five years ago.
No vision, no thought, no future direction, just personal agendas and egos being fulfilled season after season, weak as piss...........

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