Robert Jamieson of the Pines Tennis Club in Tuggeranong has been awarded Club Coach of the Year for 2021 at the Tennis ACT awards.
“It was a bit of a surprise to get the nod but definitely much appreciated,” said Robert.
His career in tennis coaching began at a young age. At the time, it was merely a way of earning extra pocket money after school.
What started from humble beginnings quickly became a lifelong passion. He fell in love with the job as he was able to work most of the day outdoors, mingle with the community, where no working day was the same.
“Waking up in the morning and being able to do a whole bunch of different things and not get stuck in a rut; I’m lucky enough to do the job that I love and make a living out of it as well,” he said.
It’s this love of the job that Robert believes makes him the coach that he is.
“In a job like coaching, you’ve got to be bright and bubbly and happy all the time, even if things aren’t going your way, otherwise people won’t want to come back,” he said.
Robert has been nominated a few times for awards with Tennis ACT and won the now-defunct Hot Shots Coach of the Year in 2015, of which he proudly proclaims himself the “defending champ” six years later.
A big part of his winning the award was his club’s promotion of Tennis ACT’s diversity and inclusion values. The Pines Tennis Club has a coach who knows AUSLAN, and the club is in the early phases of getting a blind tennis program up and running after Blind Tennis Australia approached the club.
The Pines Tennis Club also won Club of the Year to cap off a major coup at the Tennis ACT Awards for 2021.
Robert says it’s the support from the committee at Pines Tennis Club, who always encourage his ideas, that allows him and the other coaches to continue to make the club better.
An example of this is the work the club has done recently on its Hot Shot program. A couple of years ago, the club built a special zone with two smaller courts for the kids to play on, a decision which Robert believes made the kids feel like they had their own courts and improved their overall enjoyment of the sport.
They now run a Hot Shot program for free on Friday nights as a way of getting the kids on the court and playing as early as possible.
“Our motto is ‘the game for life’,” Robert said. “You can play from 3 to 93, it’s inclusive and you can play in a wheelchair or blind tennis.”
Robert believes for those interested in playing tennis, now is the opportune time during COVID as it’s a sport that requires very little contact.
To book a court near you, head to the Play Tennis booking service.