Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Tennis skills honed

Benalla's budding tennis players enjoyed three days of coaching by Melbourne's Toptenn Academy.

ANGELA TOWNSEND January 9, 2013 4:33am

The annual Benalla Tennis Super Clinic for 5-16 year olds was held at Benalla from January 2-4.

Benalla’s budding tennis players braved scorching conditions at the Benalla Lawn courts last week to hone their tennis skills at the annual Toptenn Academy’s Super Clinic.

The three-day clinic has continued its popularity during the years — being conducted by Dennis Lemke for 38 years and by Toptenn’s Peter Owen for the past 10 years.

Six experienced coaches came from Melbourne to take the 45 kids through their paces.

Owen said the coaches loved the grass courts at Benalla, calling them ‘‘amazing’’.

‘‘A lot of kids return year after year for the clinic,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got a few new ones this year, and a few from Melbourne.

‘‘It is great to see the enormous improvement.’’

Toptenn continues to excel as tennis trainers, being awarded the Newcombe Medal — the equivalent of the Brownlow — for coaching excellence at club and community level.

A presentation for the kids was held last Friday, with two lucky participants chosen to play on a show court later this month — possibly even Rod Laver Arena.

Eight-year-old Michael Roos enjoyed the opportunity to play at the Rod Laver Arena last year — even with a broken arm.

This year’s lucky stars are Will O’Donohue and Mia Begley.

Owen said Benalla’s new coach Luke Wilson was going to be fantastic for the Lawn Tennis Club.

‘‘Luke and the committee are really working hard to build a tennis community here in Benalla,’’ he said.

‘‘The Saturday morning clinics are great.’’

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