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Wheelchair tennis

Total investment (Tennis Australia) 2016-17:$1,173,750 (high performance - para $261,250; participation $712,500; other $200,000)

ASC funding as a percentage of total income: Less than 1% 

Australia had a team of five wheelchair tennis athletes at the Rio Games. The standout performances were the gold medals won by Dylan Alcott in the quad singles and Dylan and Heath Davidson in the quad doubles. These were Australia’s first Paralympic Games medals in wheelchair tennis since Athens 2004.

The sport reviewed its wheelchair tennis high performance plan in 2016, part of which explored how to grow the number of Australian athletes progressing towards world top 10. The outcome was the creation of a national para pathways manager position, and the appointment of dedicated state para coaches in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria.

The structure of the high performance program has now matured and is well integrated into Tennis Australia’s national strategy, with good athlete monitoring and well-developed support systems. All priority athletes have access to first class facilities and performance support services.

The program makes effective use of research and innovation opportunities such as the Australian Paralympic Committee’s seating project, for which wheelchair tennis was the pilot sport. Individually designed playing chairs were used by both Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson.

Governance commentary

Tennis Australia aligns very closely with the ASC’s Mandatory Sports Governance Principles and corporate governance structures and excels when benchmarked against Australia’s Winning Edge sports. In 2016 it undertook an external and independent board evaluation and will continue to implement the recommendations from that process. Tennis performs very well against the integrity principles, particularly around child and member protection. It may wish to consider introducing the disclosure of administration expenses including key management personnel in meaningful bands within its reporting.

2016 Benchmark event // Paralympic Games

Medal target: 0-2

Actual: gold 2 silver 0 bronze 0 total 2

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