President's Report June 2019

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ANOTHER REWARDING YEAR!

A child’s formative years, the period that has such a strong influence in their emotional, social and physical growth, has a direct effect on the adult they will become. Sociologists suggest early childhood, which spans the period up to 8 years of age, is critical for cognitive, social, emotional and physical development. For some 36 years The Kids Tennis Foundation has provided a social welfare program for children generally in grades 3 and 4 at primary school. Using tennis as a means for communication, our program helps raise the self-esteem and self-confidence of financially and socially disadvantaged kids. It's not for them to become champions but to give them life skills and confidence in a game not normally associated with the disadvantaged.  We have therefore been involved in a positive way for thousands of young Australians during such a critical time in their life. I think the following testimonial sums it up pretty well:

“The majority of the students in the KTF Program had never even held a racquet before, let alone tried to hit a moving ball with one! Our coach, Les, demonstrated a very patient nature with all of the children, particularly those with less refined hand-eye coordination. All children, regardless of ability, were made to feel as though they had succeeded at the end of the session. The most important element Les demonstrated was that tennis is fun, and this was evident in the enjoyment and enthusiasm shown by the children.                               

Pines Forest P.S. Frankston VIC”

And so, we’ve enjoyed another successful year in providing our special way of helping young Australian kids. We continue to work hard to expand and further develop our programs. The Ken Rosewall Regional Project now in its third year continues to reach out to kids in regional schools. Ken’s enthusiasm for the program is still as strong as ever. We’re privileged and proud to have him as a part of the KTF family. We’ve recently had some excellent dialogue with Tennis Victoria and Tennis Australia with a view to finding more ways to provide our unique form of welfare.

We are most grateful for the ongoing support from CQS, Yulgilbar Foundation (Myer Family) and the International Club Philanthropy along with Tennis Australia. Once again, a huge thank you to our Gold Medal Supporters. Our Honour Board already includes: REIV Charitable Foundation, Abbe Corrugated Cardboard Packaging, Ray Horsburgh AM, Dr James Butler AM along with anonymous donors and our very latest Gold Medallists, Anton & Jenny Gaudry. Each fully tax deductable donation of $5000 will provide coaching for an extra 200 underprivileged children. A simple phone call to our CEO Susie Norton is all that's needed to make your donation and become a part of our Honour Board.

 In October last year we enjoyed our Annual Gala Ball at the RACV Club in Bourke St. “Diamonds are Forever” was the theme and due to some hard working “diamonds”, namely our social committee, it was a fabulous night and a great success. Ladies, your work is invaluable, we couldn’t get by without you. A huge thanks from the Board and of course all the kids.

Be sure to mark Friday 11th October in your organiser for our 2019 Gala Ball at The Pullman on The Park, 192 Wellington Parade East Melbourne

The Social Committee’s other big fun and fund raiser is the annual Mothers’ Day lunch, always massively successful.

The programs could not be delivered without our coaches. A huge thank you to them. I know they all get a kick out of working with KTF kids. They are good citizens who are willing to give back to their communities. We do pay our coaches, but it’s at a rate much lower than they could otherwise command.

Finally, thanks to our Board. The current Board has worked as a team for some years now. Paul and Vic have been Board Members since KTF was launched in 1983. I’ve been there since 2000, Josh since 2003 and Susie since 2014. However, Susie has been the day by day driver at the wheel of the machine as CEO for 32 years! A wonderful and fulfilling commitment.

Thanks from all of us, Susie.