FRESH APPROACH: Top Tennis Academy operator and head coach Leon Glinster oversees a new direction at the George Alder Tennis Centre clay courts.
FRESH APPROACH: Top Tennis Academy operator and head coach Leon Glinster oversees a new direction at the George Alder Tennis Centre clay courts. Sarah Harvey

Ipswich tennis on the right court

EXPERIENCED coach Leon Glinster can see plenty of pleasing developments in regional tennis.

Recent efforts from Tennis Ipswich, the Ipswich Sports House and the Ipswich City Council is helping the sport attract new events and develop a range of programs in the city.

"I think it's moving along. There's a lot of positives to it," Glinster said. "But I still think we've got a long way to go.

"We're working closely with Ipswich Sports House, which has been fantastic for us and Tennis Queensland have been a little bit more hands on."

Glinster is eager to play his part in future progress, having recently taken over as major operator of the George Alder Tennis Centre.

Having previously partnered with Clint Fyfe as the TFP Academy, Glinster's new company is called Top Tennis Academy.

Under a leasing arrangement being finalised with Ipswich City Council, he can oversee a number of junior and senior programs at the Leichhardt claycourt venue.

"It's a new beginning for us," Glinster said, having been based at the centre for two-and-a-half years.

"It's an extension of what we've got.

"It's a new business, fresh approach so we're going to take the facility to a new level."

Glinster's main focus will be grassroots tennis, community-based and indigenous programs, working with schools and mid-week ladies competition.

The level 1 and junior development coach has more than 20 years experience. He is keen to continue his popular Hot Shots program, expand his weekend fixtures, start a Thursday night competition and add more events to next year's calendar.

Recent events at the Alder complex have included the Queensland Junior Claycourt titles and Queensland Seniors titles.

It's the first time Glinster is sole operator, working with his staff.

"I think we've got one of the best facilities in Ipswich, if not Brisbane," he said. "And we've got the unique quality of having the clay, which is a great attraction for anybody."

Glinster, 46, is looking to attract international players wanting to improve their game on clay.

As a Tennis Ipswich committee member, he hopes to continue his regional role after the body holds its September 7 election.

In other regional events, the city's annual representative Perrett Shield competition is on September 8 in Toowoomba.

The Ipswich tennis grand finals are scheduled for September 14.

Key regional tennis events

Perrett Shield: September 8. Ipswich will be vying to retain the trophy in the annual tournament against Toowoomba in Toowoomba. Team selection and a training session is planned for Friday, August 30, from 4-6.30pm at the Ipswich District Junior Tennis Association courts.

Queens Park Open Day (9am-2pm): October 1. The Ipswich & District Junior Tennis Association is hosting an event for people to try hotshots tennis or have a hit on the courts.

Brookwater Spectacular: October 3. Regional tennis coach Mitch Garen will be working with the Active After School Community initiative to host a tennis day at the Brookwater courts.

Pizza Hut Junior Circuit: For under 10s and 12s. The round-robin singles and doubles program is played every month. The dates can be found at tennisipswich.com.au



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