Updated: Sep 3, 2020
Representatives of Tennis Australia flew into the country in October to help with coaching development in Fiji as well as to monitor the success of the Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP) outreach and community programmes. Upon arrival the team met with members of Topline Community in Lautoka - one of Tennis Fiji’s most successful and longest running outreach tennis programs.
Day two of their visit saw the Australian group filming junior and senior tennis training sessions at the Tennis Fiji headquarters in Lautoka. The afternoon was then spent at Lovu HART (Housing Assistant Relief Trust) - a community comprising largely of children from single-parent households and those from low-income households.
Lovu HART program participants engaged in activities that highlighted the importance of good nutrition and learning the basics of tennis overseen by Tennis Fiji’s head tennis development officers Max Veimateyaki and Lai Qio and senior tennis players from Fiji.
On the final day of the visit, Tennis Fiji took their Australian counterparts on special school visits in Nadi and Lautoka.
Here, the tennis activities are tailored to suit the needs of individuals and involve exercises such as ball-throwing and other activities such as "head, shoulders, knees and toes" to ensure the children participate in fun and active exercises. The special school visits were busy and extra help was given by Tennis Fiji’s tennis development officers Sereima Lalavanua, Vasiti Buileqeti and Donna Naisau to deliver the programs.
One of the many aims of Tennis Fiji is to ensure that tennis, no matter in what shape or form, is accessible for everyone. Tennis Fiji wants to create greater awareness around tennis and to keep communities in Fiji engaged with the sport. Tennis Fiji Secretary, Sachin Reddy, said the visit from Tennis Australia was important to help expose tennis as an increasingly popular sport in Fiji. The partnership between Tennis Australia and Fiji aims to bring tennis to communities with minimal access to the sport and to highlight the idea that tennis is a sport for everyone.