A total of 621 of the city’s tiniest tennis fans from nine different Canberra schools received brand new tennis racquets this week under the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program.
The racquets were given out for free to Year One students in each of the schools as part of an initiative to encourage more children to pick up a racquet and learn tennis.
The lucky recipients include 100 students from the Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School in Amaroo, 88 students from Radford College in Bruce, 88 students from Telopea Park School in Barton, and 82 students from the Holy Family Primary School in Gowrie.
As well as this, 78 racquets were given to Year One students at Charles Conder Primary School in Conder, 70 racquets went to Lyneham Primary School, 60 to Sacred Heart Primary School in Pearce, 40 to Giralang Primary School, and 15 to Brindabella Christian School in Lyneham.
A total of 80,000 racquets have been handed out across Australia since the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots and Tennis Australia’s School Partnership Program began in January 2015, with a further 30,000 to be delivered this year.
Twenty-two-time Grand Slam champion Todd Woodbridge is proud of the initiative’s success to date.
“The ANZ racquet initiative is a fantastic way to introduce and inspire more kids to play tennis,” Mr Woodbridge said.
“ANZ has helped us introduce tennis to kids in schools by delivering 110,000 racquets across the country, which is an amazing achievement.
“For them to take a racquet home means that tennis is always within their reach and helps kids to develop healthy habits that keep them fit and active.”
Nationwide, more than 384,584 children played ANZ Tennis Hot Shots in 2016/17, making the program one of Australia’s most popular sport participation programs.
There are currently more than 2650 Australian schools who participate in the program.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said he looked forward to seeing more racquets in the hands of Australian children.
“Schools play a huge role in the development of children, and at Tennis Australia we want to continue to support schools in providing an environment where the health and well-being of students is a top priority,” Mr Tiley said.
Do you have a child who has received a tennis racquet under this program? If so, has it inspired them to play tennis? Let us know in the comments below.