Club develops hot shots

July 04th, 2013
Club develops hot shots
Tennis isn't the first sport that springs to mind in the middle of the winter but for players at the Stirling Tennis Club it is business as usual with coaching and a night tennis competition underway.

The club has also appointed new Head Coach Bill Walter who plans to introduce new initiatives to excite players young and old in the coming year.

Bill has been coaching at a number of courts across the Hills for the past five years and said he is is happy to take a role that will give him a home base that he can work from for the whole year.

"Only a handful of Hills clubs are dedicated to tennis year-round," Bill said.

"Most share facilities with netball clubs and once the traditional tennis season ends the nets go down and poles go up.

"Getting a key role at Stirling is a huge boost for me."

Bill said the newly re-surfaced courts at Stirling allow training to go ahead even when the courts are a bit wet.

In his new role Bill plans to bring more members into the club and deliver new and exciting programs that include Cardio Tennis, a newly designed program from Tennis Australia.

"It is essentially a cardio workout with a tennis theme," Bill said.

"There's a lot of running around, hitting balls and activities using agility ladders and cones that are designed to keep you at the right heart rate to burn fat and increase cardio health.

"It's fast paced and exciting."

Bill will also introduce Tennis Australia's junior development program Hot Shots to the Stirling Tennis club and he hopes it will help to create a pathway for young players into club competition.

"Hot Shots is for children from five to ten years old and it grows as they grow," Bill said.

"They start with a mini court and oversized red balls designed to bounce to waist height and the size of court and ball gradually alters as they get bigger and their skills develop."

"I am looking forward to getting a solid system going at Stirling and anticipate that Hot Shots will feed up from the bottom and rejuvenate the junior club.

"I would love to have ten-plus junior teams within the next two years."

Bill said he expects the combination of the two programs will encourage a return to the successes of 2008 and 2009 when the club won the award for South Australia's best club.

"I really want to get young blood there, as well as bring back those people whose playing has lapsed," Bill said.

"I think Cardio Tennis and Hot Shots both offer fun pathways to club competition."

Club secretary and junior coordinator Jill Whisson said she is absolutely delighted at Bill's appointment as head coach.

"I am really excited to have Bill there because he is committed to the tennis and not just trying to fit it in," Jill said.

"It allows the club to have someone who is foucsed on what is happening, to work with volunteers and be a driving force to maintain momentum for the initiatives he wants to put in place.

"What we are really hoping is that more people will be drawn in to fill teams.

"The club offers a comprehensive pathway for juniors which is not offered by many of the Hills clubs because we have affiliations with the Hills Tennis Association as well as Eastern Districts Tennis Association."

The club has recently completed installation of lights on all courts, a move Jill said creates even more opportunities for play and skills development at the year round club.

"We have night competition and want to hold more social tennis evenings that fit in to people's busy lifestyles," Jill said.

"We really notice the difference with people who play tennis in winter as well as summer.

"They move on in leaps and bounds and often will jump up an extra division in the summer competition."

Clare Phillips from Bridgewater has moved her 12-year-old son Noah to Stirling Tennis club to follow his coach Bill.

She said she expects other players will follow suit.

"Bill is an excellent coach and he is brilliant with Noah," Clare said.

"He not only coaches one on one but also develops squads and helps kids become more of a team by encouraging them to play each other regularly.

He is really about the person and makes sure the kids are happy and enjoying sport - which is really important."

Clare is a former tennis player herself and is keen to have a go at cardio tennis when the program kicks off.

"I think it sounds really fun," Clare said.

"If the club an extend their programs to encourage more members it will be excellent because I would enjoy it if all of the family can play together there.

"They are beautiful courts and I think they are the best in the Hills as far as location and facilities.

"It is also nice that it is a dedicated tennis space and I hope they can keep it that way."

For more information about Stirling Tennis Club visit their website at http://www.stirlingtennisclub.com.au and for more information about Cardio Tennis and Hot Shots visit the Tennis Australia website at http://www.tennis.com.au

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