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Outside coaching support welcomed

TENNIS

Gisborne Tennis has welcomed the offer of support to the region from an experienced professional-level coach.

Craig Giddy is an International Tennis Federation Level 2 coach and has been national 45-50 age-group singles champion for the past three years.

He has been travelling from Hastings for the past two weekends to provide coaching for local players and intends to continue making the journey.

Giddy said the idea came about when he was approached at a national tournament and wanted to help local coach Noel Craft “get it going again”.

He said tennis was a passion of his, and Gisborne had plenty of talent that could be developed.

Craft said that Giddy’s coaching sessions were a great stepping stone for players of all levels to improve their tennis.

“He’s keen to help drive growth in this region, of both participation and competition,” Craft said.

“It’s a great opportunity to have him here; he’s got more experience in the competitive environment.”

One of the biggest benefactors of Giddy’s coaching has been Steve Royster. He has been competing in national tournament singles, doubles and teams events since he came across tennis through the Primary Schools Introduction Programme delivered by Craft.

Royster may be the region’s next tennis star. He has been selected from the Tennis Eastern Region to attend the age-group national tournament in Christchurch, and has received sponsorship to help him get there.

Craft said the hard work Royster had been putting in on the training courts had started to pay dividends.

“He has started to get good results competing and progressing deeper into the tournaments, despite being younger in the age groups.”

Local junior players of any skill level who are interested in having a go are welcome to attend Gisborne Tennis Club for coaching on Saturday mornings, from 9am to 10.30am.

POLISHING THE RAW MATERIAL: Coaches Noel Craft (left) and Craig Giddy watch junior tennis player Steve Royster practise his serve. Giddy’s offer of support for Gisborne tennis coaching has been welcomed. Picture by Paul Rickard