The new head coach at Bendigo Tennis Centre, Calan McCarthy, joined me for a quick interview before he went on court to coach. Calan has now taken over as head coach of the Bendigo Academy of Sport Tennis Squad. This squad contains 20 elite youngsters from around the regions. The selection process in order to make it into this squad is a trial, where hopefuls are given four 30 minute rounds to play their best tennis on the day. After selection the squad then has the opportunity to complete 10, 4 hour sessions in a variety of places around the region including: Bendigo, Shepparton, Echuca-Moama, with the squad attaining tournament support for whichever tournament they choose, and in doing so, some players will experience there first tournament environment.

Calan grew up playing tennis around Melbourne, mainly in the Maribyrnong area. As a child, Calan enjoyed watching Marat Safin, the 2 time Grand Slam winner form Russia, and also enjoyed watching Federer as he came up through the ranks.

Calan started coaching tennis part time in high school, before picking it up full time after school around year 10. 18 years later and he is still coaching juniors, seniors, and some pros! Viktoriya Tomova, a Bulgarian who peaked at 104 in the world for singles, is one of those pros that Calan currently coaches. He says that coaching at that level is always a challenge, especially when there’s always her finances and ranking points to think about; however coaching at that elite level is an amazing experience, and he enjoys working at that level with Viktoriya. On the flipside, Calan loves coaching the mid-week ladies group. He always enjoys each session, and shares the ladies enjoyment that they get out of each session, enjoying the light side of coaching, not having to worry about competition or finances, just doing what he enjoys.

As stated above, Calan has been appointed the new head coach of the Bendigo Academy of Sport Tennis squad from 2022. His main goal for the squad is to unify the squad. He believes that kids from the squad will come across each other at regional and metro tournaments with the return of these tournaments, he wants the kids to be able to go and hit with a squad member if they are there, and release any nerves that particularly players with no tournament experience might have. Calan wants the kids to be able to recognise that they are all from the same academy, and therefore should try to help each other further their tennis where they can.

It’s great to have Calan on board!

Written by Dane Thompson

work experience student

Alice Miller School