Tennis coaches to head out from Geraldton on remote road trip through Mid West

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Jarron Kretschmann, back, in bush hat and sunglasses, and Aimee Radcliffe, right, back row, with a group on the remote tennis tour last term.
Camera IconJarron Kretschmann, back, in bush hat and sunglasses, and Aimee Radcliffe, right, back row, with a group on the remote tennis tour last term. Credit: Supplied

It’s time to hit the road again for Geraldton’s travelling tennis crew.

Remote Tennis Services Australia head coach Jarron Kretschmann and Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation project officer Aimee Radcliffe will be back in the four-wheel-drive next week with ex-tour competitor and Geraldton local Darren Patten, with thousands more kilometres of remote roadsides and bush coming up as they head off on a tennis roadshow through the remote Mid West.

Kretschmann said this was a third back-to-back Indigenous Tennis and Learning Program, where the group coach children everywhere from schools and courts in remote towns and Indigenous communities to roadsides and caravan parks in red-dirt spinifex country, aiming to raise interest in tennis and educational development.

“We did term four (last year) and term one and now term two, which is good continuity and keeping the relationships positive,” Kretschmann said.

“Schools and after-school programs we engaged with are all hearing good things about tennis coming back and the kids are pumped up.”

Tennis West coach development manager Sheridan Adams said this type of remote coaching was unique.

“It’s absolutely amazing, what he’s (Kretschmann) doing, going to those areas and introducing tennis to those communities,” he said.

“It’s unbelievable, you see some of the videos and pictures and stories and it’s just amazing.

“It’s awesome that he’s able to get tennis out to as many people in different communities as possible and spread the love of the game.”

He confirmed Radcliffe would also be taking a course as part of working towards becoming the first Indigenous female Tennis Australia coaching member in WA.

Tennis Australia said few coaches were as well travelled as Kretschmann, who has the ability to live off the grid in his specially modified vehicles and spends weeks away from home on the road in remote areas and the Outback, sometimes with his wife and young children.

The Mid West tour will take in 2500km of countryside in Mullewa, Yalgoo, Pia Wadjarri, Mt Magnet, Cue, and the Indigenous communities of Karalundi and Burringurrah, and Kretschmann and Patten will head off for an even more remote roadshow through the Pilbara when it finishes. Patten, a Mid West Sports Hall of Fame inductee in 2006, is chief executive at non-profit Murlpirrmarra Connection Ltd., which focuses on Indigenous educational engagement.

Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corp. provides services through the State Government Healthway Respect Yourself, Respect Your Culture program and is a partner helping to fund the Mid West tour.

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