It’s time to get the rackets out as tennis recommences…

Manning TC’s Club Captain Dwayne Agustin and President Rod Philp
Manning TC’s Club Captain Dwayne Agustin and President Rod Philp

Tennis clubs across Western Australia have been given the green light to reopen their doors with the move to Phase 3 of the State Governments COVID-19 WA Roadmap allowing for the reopening of club houses and change rooms and an increase in the number of patrons permitted on site. 

Coming into effect on Saturday 6 June, the reopening of clubs, which will continue to be governed by strict compliance with the Government’s latest COVID-19 Guidelines and Regulations, will further extend the Phase 2 easings of restrictions which have already allowed for the return of court hire, group coaching and intra-club competition. 

Tennis West CEO Michael Roberts says that while tennis continues to be extremely cautious with the restrictions and systems in place, he was confident in the behind-the-scenes work which has prioritised communication to affiliated clubs and ensured they are informed with the latest requirements and expectations set out by the Government and supported by Tennis West. 

“Tennis took an early lead in the suspension of competition and we prioritised communication with our clubs and players, to ensure they were informed on what the government restrictions meant for the sport,”

‘We want to see our clubs reopening and our players back out on court, while ensuring it’s done vigilantly and sensibly with the safety of our entire tennis family and the wider community the priority,”

“Our governance has been informed, our decisions well considered and we feel confident in our ability to assist in guiding our clubs to a safe return to play,” 

‘The very nature of tennis allows players to participate safely with the added benefit of social distancing measures a unique feature of our game.” Roberts said. 

Extensive guidelines on safe play, with increased hygiene practices and social distancing have been developed to assist clubs in a safe return to play so players of all ages and abilities can enjoy the fun, fitness and wellbeing benefits tennis provides. 

Tennis Australia’s Chief Tennis Officer Matt Dwyer says the guidelines have been designed to help each club and operator assess their local environment and ensure social distancing and increased hygiene measures are in place. This includes a 1.5 metre distance between players at all times, BYO equipment advice, and of course, racquet taps instead of handshakes. 

“We’ve worked closely with our clubs and coaches across Australia on how to get everyone back on court in the safest possible way, and now the court is calling,” Matt Dwyer said. 

“Over the past couple of weeks, as restrictions have gradually eased, we’ve seen a surge of interest in tennis. As a non-contact sport, and built-in social distancing, players of all ages are enjoying getting outside, having a hit, and returning to coaching and social play. 

“As well as being great physical exercise tennis is a tremendous sport for mental health and wellbeing. Having moved into Phase 3 of restrictions, booking a court for a hit with family and friends –whilst of course following our new guidelines – is an ideal way to get moving again.”

Tennis provides a range of health benefits for all age groups, with an extensive 25-year observational study finding that racquet sports were proven to increase life expectancy by almost ten years.

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