Players stop and reflect on year
And so the Bundaberg tennis season grinds to a halt, even if it is for only a matter of weeks.
Brendon Schultz, Luke Spence, James Mills, Luke Gerry and Federico Keil took some time out at the Rotary Park tennis courts yesterday to reflect on a year that yielded some significant results.
Spence, who turns 13 tomorrow, was awarded club player of the year, while Mills claimed the Horrie Banner encouragement award.
Shultz picked up the top prize from the 10-and-under Central Queensland circuit to top off a magnificent year — one that even excited the man himself.
“I think I really improved a lot this year. I noticed how much better I was getting and really enjoyed playing and training,” Schultz said.
His coach, Kev Banner, agreed that 2009 was another big tick in the box for local tennis.
“We had some great results from all our age groups, and of course holding the Money Tournament and Pro Circuit (at Drinan Park in May) was an opportunity for our up-and-comers to be exposed to a higher level of competition,” Banner said.
Gerry has just returned from the John Newcombe Academy in Texas with a fresh approach and renewed enthusiasm in the sport.
A senior tournament in Kawana in mid-January will be the first of many for the talent in 2010.
“I think I have the potential to go well, if not win a senior tournament in 2010 if I play really well. I learnt heaps in Texas and I’ve incorporated things into my training that hopefully will make the difference,” Gerry said.
Keil, too, has had a year to remember, capping it off by winning the 15-and-under Queensland Teams Event and finishing runner-up in the singles component.
The fast-finishing junior added 17 valuable points to his Australian open ranking, sitting him comfortably in the top 1000.
“That was a big result for me, and it’s been a big year. I’ll start looking to enter into some more senior tournaments as well and break into that,” he said.
In the sport that has virtually no off-season, momentum will build again before Melbourne’s Australian Open in January.
Banner said a series of clinics and activities would be run in Bundaberg during the Open to satisfy people’s sporadic urge to play.