By Tennis Fiji
On Wednesday, August 4 Tennis Fiji and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) hosted the first online workshop for parents of tennis players. The workshop was run by Gary Purcell, the ITF's development officer for the Pacific Oceania region. Gary has been in this position since 2017 and delivers coaching courses and other development projects across the Pacific Oceania region.
The workshop was attended by tennis parents, players, coaches and Tennis Fiji staff from across the country and was offered as a part of Tennis Fiji's and the ITF's support to the tennis community during the COVID-19 restrictions within the country, which do not allow for tennis practice to occur.
The parents of tennis players workshop went through an array of different material that may interest tennis parents or future tennis parents.
Did you know that tennis is one of only three sports worldwide that has more than 1 billion social media followers online?
Did you know that the top reason that both boys and girls start playing sports, including tennis, is To Have Fun?
The workshop went through a variety of practical information for parents of beginner tennis players including:
General tennis knowledge;
Tennis scoring, equipment, rating and rankings for junior players;
How to select and work with an appropriate coach for you child
How to organize tournaments for beginner players;
Why children participate in tennis; and
How to support the development of your child's tennis skills.
In addition, the workshop participants were also divided into small discussion groups throughout the session. In these groups we discussed some of the reasons we think our children play tennis, how parents support their tennis playing children, how we can ensure that children maintain their participation in sports as they get older and what challenges tennis parents may face in Fiji.
These small discussion groups were fruitful and interesting. Many tennis parents in Fiji felt that while tennis does comes with some challenges, such as financial and balancing education with tennis training, the benefits of their children participating in the sport were great. In particular, parents felt that tennis is a fantastic way for their child to keep fit and healthy, make new friends, gain new skills (especially in coordination, communication and discipline) and the sport can potentially open windows to new opportunities later in life, such as travel, scholarships and sporting teams at higher education institutions.
The participation in this workshop has been encouraging and while this period in Fiji has been extremely difficult for many people, it has been fantastic to engage with the tennis community and the ITF in this session.
If you are interested in learning more on this topic, the ITF has several courses aimed at tennis parents. Sign-up for your FREE ITF Academy account here and search for the courses in the photo below!
We hope to host the second workshop in the ITF's parents of tennis players series later in the year.
Many thanks to Gary Purcell and the ITF for offering and hosting this wonderful workshop for tennis parents in Fiji!