After starting in July as Tennis ACT’s new CEO, Mark La Brooy is well along the path of bringing his vision for the sport to life.
Specifically, he is keen for the Canberra International in January to be a pivotal driver to lift the sport’s profile and unlock the unlimited potential of tennis in the city.
The timing of the Canberra International, from 31 December to 6 January, is crucial as a launching pad for players ahead of the Australian Open.
The tournament will see higher-ranked women competing following the event’s promotion to a WTA 125 level. This brings it in line with the ranking for the men.
“Ultimately, it’s an elevated event, which is great for the profile of the sport in Canberra,” says Mark La Brooy.
But Mark is determined to make the Canberra International more than a tennis tournament.
“The vision is for the Canberra International to become Canberra’s premier summer event, showcasing the best of the capital and the future stars of tennis.”
With this in mind, Mark La Brooy is looking to the International as a community event to showcase the best local produce, food and drink. Furthermore, he wishes to advance the role of tennis within the community.
Mark is well placed to understand this role of tennis as his upbringing in Canberra involved endless hours on the city’s courts.
His extensive experience in management roles with Tennis ACT and Tennis Australia helps bring considerable practical understanding of the engagement aspect of the sport.
With Mark’s background and knowledge, he was well placed to take on the position of Tennis ACT CEO from previous CEO Kim Kachel.
His legacy includes plans to capitalise on the potential growth of the sport in Canberra. To unlock this potential, facilities development will need to keep up with demand.
“We feel as though parts of Canberra are missing out on being able to play tennis because of the lack of courts,” Mar says, “in particular, in the Molonglo Valley and Tuggeranong. We are pushing for more courts to be built.”
Plans are well underway for the new tennis facility in Amaroo, which will feature 10 courts and two hot shot courts.
Mark has been enormously encouraged by the united approach to progressing the sport in Canberra.
“One of the great things about Tennis ACT is the way all stakeholders work in harmony.”
And this is not by accident. It is on the back of an ethos of inclusion.
“Our clubs and coaches work closely together. We are there to help each other. We cater for all. People from the age of three to 93 years play community tennis. Tennis really is a sport for life.”
In Mark La Brooy, tennis has a passionate advocate with a determination to lift the sport to another level.
The Canberra International is just the first step.
Stay up to date with The Canberra International at Tennis ACT.