Tennis pro Connor Brosnahan is defying Covid-19 and is off to Greece, on the trip of a lifetime to coach tennis and see the world.
Connor, an Ashburton College alumni, has been coaching tennis since he was 14. His love of the sport, no doubt gleaned from his parents, tennis stalwarts Tony and Jane, has already seen him coaching offshore, including periods in the United Kingdom.
Now, aged 20, an adventurous spirit has seen the young coach jet off this week on the trip of a lifetime, albeit amid a global pandemic, to coach at luxury resort Costa Navarino Greece.
It will offer him insight into working in a luxury resort, and could be a stepping stone to future opportunities, including returning for future summer seasons.
It’s an exciting but nervous time.
Connor’s earlier plans to travel to the resort for the summer season were hampered by Greece’s Covid-19 restrictions. But at short notice those plans have rematerialised after Greece announced it will reopen its borders to tourists from July 1.
The resort resumed its summer season from June 19.
Surprisingly, New Zealand’s relatively Covid-free status means he will not have to isolate once he arrives.
But he is aware that could change enroute.
His parents are keeping a close watch on the international news and border announcements. Connor’s flights take him from Christchurch to Auckland, before heading to Brisbane and then to Doha in Qatar. From there, it will be on to Athens in Greece.
Connor only heard his flight to Brisbane was on track in the final two hours before leaving home.
He is excited about the opportunities ahead of him, but nervous about border restrictions and travel uncertainties, rather than Covid-19.
The resort, which has two five-star deluxe hotels and two signature golf courses, has summer 2020 protocols in place, to deal with Covid-19, including regular temperature checks for people entering the resort, extended distancing limits and additional staff to allow for a staff to guest ratio of 1:1.
The resort also has a spa and seaweed therapy centre, more than 20 dining venues and offers a range of sports outdoor, including a racket academy where Connor will work. It has tennis, squash and popular game padel (think doubles squash on an enclosed tennis court), as well as cultural activities and five-star services. Tennis is played on clay court surfaces.
Connor will live, eat and work on site at the resort until September before embarking on his next adventure, the return leg home.
By Toni Williams