By Mick Jensen
Young gun Jack Tiller is the new Mid Canterbury Tennis head coach and keen to share his love of the game.
The 21-year-old, a former St Bede’s pupil, has played the game since he was five.
He enjoyed a stint in the USA on a tennis scholarship and takes over from Andre van Rooyen, who stepped down on health grounds.
Jack said he was excited to be in the coaching role at such a young age.
He steps into the shoes of the previous coach, who had laid “great foundations” for the game here.
He would continue running the Ace and Hotshots programmes, coaching in schools and building the game district-wide.
His transition into the job had been made “easy” through the support of the local tennis community, including Mid Canterbury Tennis vice-president Neil McCann.
“I’m really impressed with the facilities and the 16 floodlit courts here.
“There is nothing much in the South Island to beat it.”
Jack played tennis for Canterbury as a teenager and won a scholarship to attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
He studied for a marketing degree in the USA before returning 18 months into it. He has since transferred to a sports coaching degree at Canterbury University and has one year left to study.
He has already shared his tennis knowledge at five local primary schools and has a further 12 to visit.
“I am living the dream a bit. I don’t see coaching as a job as such, more of me indulging my passion for tennis and giving back to the game.”
He said he was looking forward to the Love Tennis event at the tennis centre on September 7 and 8, when the game and facilities would be showcased to all ages and abilities.
Jack Tiller continues to play his club tennis for Elmwood and hopes to relocate to the district from Christchurch in the future.