Young tennis players Lleyton Parle and Joshua Holloway are looking for more players in junior competitions.
Young tennis players Lleyton Parle and Joshua Holloway are looking for more players in junior competitions. Allan Reinikka

Junior tennis in the doldrums

THE game of tennis is rich in history and lustre, but in recent times it has fallen out of favour in Central Queensland.

Rockhampton Junior Tennis Club has experienced record lows in attendance and participation so far this year.

Rockhampton club president John Peach said the decrease in playing numbers had potentially jeopardised the future of the local club.

"There is currently a trend where people are opting to not play fixtures any more. Instead young ones are focusing on their coaching and other play," he said.

"The attendance at our club throughout the past couple of years has virtually halved."

In previous years, the club has enjoyed similar numbers of competitors attending fixtures and coaching clinics.

"Last Saturday we had over 40 in our coaching program. However, we could only muster 25 to play fixtures," Peach said.

The junior club has three playing grades, ranging from B to Pennant grade.

"The grades are based on ability, which can only be taught through having both match experience and a coaching program, side by side," Peach said.

"People don't realise, it is essential to have match games as well as coaching.

"They are not aware of the importance of match play."

Peach said match play not only helped competitors to gain experience but also helped them understand the importance of technique.

"Lleyton Parle started with our club last year and had played virtually no tennis," Peach said.

"He started out in B grade and by the end of the year was playing Pennant grade and competing in competitions."

The Rockhampton junior club holds fixtures and coaching clinics every Tuesday afternoon and Saturday.

Phone 4927 1436.



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