Marin Cilic (left), coach Bob Brett (right) and Callum and Ben Hunter at the Italian tennis academy.
Marin Cilic (left), coach Bob Brett (right) and Callum and Ben Hunter at the Italian tennis academy. SUBMITTED

Catering to elite juniors

A BRAND-NEW international tennis academy is being planned for Coffs Harbour and will be operational in the year 2011.

Local businessman Todd Hunter announced that the new academy will be built in Middle Boambee to assist a select group of elite regional juniors with their tennis development.

Construction of a new domain housing facility will begin shortly for the selected juniors to live in when they relocate to Coffs Harbour to not only play but live and breathe tennis six days a week.

The main aim of the new academy will be to provide a professional tennis program of between 20 to 35 hours per week for the elite juniors.

Hunter said that the new academy will work in with existing clubs on the Coffs Coast to use the existing tennis courts in the region.

He also added that the next important step is to find the right coaches for the academy and the search will involve advertising nationally and overseas for the position of head coach.

What Hunter believes is the biggest coup for the academy is having world professional tennis coach Bob Brett agree to assist a select group of elite regional juniors with their tennis development.

Brett will assist the new international tennis academy by providing training for the academy’s full-time coaches and by allowing small supervised groups of juniors to his world-acclaimed Bob Brett Tennis Academy in Italy.

“All full-time coaches at the new Coffs Harbour academy will attend Bob Brett’s academy in Italy,” Hunter said.

“This will ensure that the same training techniques and programs used in San Remo are implemented at the Coffs Harbour academy.

“As well one of Australia’s most experienced technical tennis coaches Russell Cornell from Melbourne, who is also one of Bob Brett’s trusted long-term coaches, has agreed to assist the new Coffs Harbour academy when needed.”

When it comes to juniors learning their craft there are few better coaches available than Brett and his staff.

Brett currently coaches world number 11 and Australian Open semi-finalist Marin Cilic and has previously coached some of the greatest tennis players in history including Boris Becker, Goran Ivanisevic, Johan Kriek, John Lloyd, Robert Seguso, Nicholas Kieffer, Mario Ancic and Australia’s own Paul McNamee.

Hunter said the inspiration for the exciting new project simply came from the dwindling numbers of elite Australian players, especially ones that come from regional Australia.

“Many of Australia’s previous tennis champions hailed from ‘ the bush’, being the regional areas throughout Australia,” he said.

“During the last 20 years, the number of successful professional players from regional Australia has dramatically decreased. I want to help in reversing that decline by assisting elite junior tennis player from regional Australia.”



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