Yarrawonga College’s preps to Grade 6 are leading the way with Victoria’s Hot Shots tennis program according to 11-time Grand Slam champion and International Hall of Famer Todd Woodbridge.
“Congratulations to you all - your school is leading the way with the Hot Shots program,” the 46-year-old champion told the Piper Street school’s packed multi-purpose room.
Woodbridge joined Yarrawonga ANZ Branch Manager Alan Busk last Friday in presenting over 60 prep students brand new tennis racquets, courtesy of the ANZ and Tennis Australia’s School Partnership Program, and conducted an on-court clinic.
“The racquet initiative is a fantastic way to introduce and encourage kids to play tennis and find future champions of our sport,” Woodbridge said.
“The School Partnership Program gives primary school students the opportunity to play tennis as part of their curriculum, and to keep active and fit.
“In just two years ANZ has helped us introduce tennis to kids in schools by delivering 80,000 racquets.”
Woodbridge outlined his background to students: played tennis at age 5, first competition at age 6, at 10 started adult competition with his Mum, at 14 left home to pursue professional career via A.I.S. Canberra (training at 6am, school, after school training, running and homework), at 16 tennis on world tour England, France, Germany, Japan - all parts of the world to become a senior player.
Todd made a great impression with the Yarrawonga students, parents and staff.
Yarrawonga College P-12 Principal Damien Keel thanked Todd for his superb address.
“It’s great to have high profile people like Todd in Yarrawonga,” Mr Keel said. “We are very pleased to hear that our school is leading the way with the Hot Shots program which started in 2014.
“Carolyn Willett as health and physical education teacher is passionate about the program, she is the driver and is doing an excellent job.”
Recently turned 46-year-old Todd told the Yarrawonga Chronicle Swiss ace Roger Federer is the best player he’s ever seen because of his all-round game. And the best in doubles? Let me answer that!
Todd Woodbridge formed half of arguably the most successful doubles combination in history, pairing with Mark Woodforde and being number one doubles pair in the world for four years.
The Woodies won 11 Grand Slam doubles titles and five straight Wimbledon titles as well as Todd’s favourite title - an Olympic Gold Medal at Atlanta in 1996. The pair’s 61 world doubles titles is a world record. Mark Woodforde lives in America; Todd in Melbourne and has a golf handicap of four. The two Woodies are still good mates and see each other a few times each year.
Todd’s engagement with students, parents and teachers last Friday was also a big winner.