Racquet Roadshow swings into action

Todd Woodbridge during the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquet Roadshow

At a time when young players can most benefit from picking up a racquet, the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquet Roadshow is celebrating a special milestone in the sport.

In the fifth edition of the initiative, the total number of racquets distributed to first-year primary school students will reach the incredible 200,000 mark.

In 2021 alone, the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquets Roadshow will see 30,000 racquets gifted to first-year students at more than 700 primary schools across Australia.

The timing couldn’t be more perfect, with new survey data showing that 92 per cent of Australians surveyed believe children should learn tennis from a young age.

And the benefits of tennis are especially relevant as parents target COVID-safe activity.

The August 2021 survey, conducted by Pureprofile for Tennis Australia, also revealed that almost 50 per cent of parents were concerned their families are not as fit when compared to the start of the pandemic.

Almost half of Australian families surveyed noticed a decrease in their family’s level of outdoor physical activity in that period.

Tennis can help remedy those concerns, with 82 per cent of Australians surveyed aware of the benefits associated with playing tennis as a child. These include physical fitness, coordination, confidence and social skills.

Physically distanced and enjoyed outdoors, tennis is a safe sport for all participants – which is great news for the two thirds of surveyed parents who indicated they would likely try a new sport if it was considered COVID-safe.

Tennis surged in popularity throughout 2020 and 2021, with court bookings increasing by more than 200 per cent year-on-year.

With many children missing vital social opportunities throughout pandemic-enforced restrictions, tennis also creates a way to reconnect with school mates.

The ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquet Roadshow is helping kids across Australia lead healthy and active lives.

Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge and fellow Tennis Australia Ambassadors Casey Dellacqua and John Fitzgerald will pop into schools virtually to inspire students to pick up their new racquets and swing into action. Some states will have a special in-person visit from local ambassadors.

Woodbridge, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, is delighted to see the benefits of the initiative first-hand.

“The ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquet Roadshow is a project I’m excited to be involved with every single year,” said Woodbridge.

“To be able to introduce so many kids, and their families, to the sport I’ve loved for my whole life is so rewarding, as is seeing the positive impact tennis can have on their lives.”

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley noted that the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquets Roadshow is successfully helping the organisation fulfil a key objective.

“Getting more kids involved in tennis is part of what we do every single day, and to have been able to put racquets in the hands of 200,000 kids across the country is a tremendous milestone to celebrate,” said Tiley.

“I look forward to seeing more courts across the country full of kids playing tennis with their friends and families.”

“We hope that by supporting grassroots programs like the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquet Roadshow we can help inspire the next generation grow a lifelong love of tennis,” ANZ Managing Director of Retail Banking, Katherine Bray added.

“ANZ and Tennis Australia’s five-year partnership that has delivered 200,000 racquets to communities right across Australia is an outstanding achievement.”

> To find your nearest club, visit the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots home page.

Survey conducted by Pureprofile for Tennis Australia in August 2021, with 1000 Australian parents surveyed aged 18-65.