Tennis coach loves facilities

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New Mid Canterbury Tennis head coach Andre van Rooyen is impressed with facilities and keen to make his mark on the local tennis scene.
South African born Mr Van Rooyen arrived from Nelson last month, where he has been a tennis centre coach for the past five years.
He moves to Ashburton with wife Debbie and children Sebastian and Christine, who attend Ashburton Borough School.
Mr Van Rooyen was formally welcomed to the district by members of the tennis fraternity at a recent social evening.
‘‘I was made to feel very welcome and I was very impressed with the tennis centre facilities – they are world class.’’
Mr Van Rooyen said he had already started tennis coaching and was looking forward to the start of the tennis season proper in late August.
He said his aim was to work with and develop players across the full spectrum of abilities.
‘‘It’s not just about the high performance players. Players need to be guided from a young age and encouraged.
‘‘My view on tennis is that we are building players for life and I want them to play and enjoy the sport, regardless of what level they are playing at.’’
Debbie Van Rooyen is a qualified Hot Shots coach and will help her husband with the coaching of young players.
Mr Van Rooyen is also keen ‘‘to breathe more life’’ into the district’s dozen tennis clubs.
‘‘I want to help those rural clubs thrive. That will mean visiting them and also training up more community coaches to carry on that development work.’’
Mr Van Rooyen has just turned 50 and started playing tennis at the age of seven. He has been a professional coach for the last 25 years.
He has lived in New Zealand for eight years and has also enjoyed coaching stints in Invercargill and Timaru.
Photos: Andre Van Rooyen with wife Debbie and children Sebastian, 9, and Christine, 6.