Having worked in Kandos in a previous life as a teacher, Tennis NSW's school development coordinator, Tanya Murdoch can appreciate how important it is to provide regional and rural children with opportunities they may typically miss out on.
As part of the ANZ Tennis Hot Shots Racquet Roadshow, Tanya made a stop to Lue Public School (LPS) on Thursday, September 17 before handing off to make a stop at Mudgee Public School.
LPS's four kindergarten students were gifted with their very own tennis racquet as a way to potentially ignite a love for the sport.
"We are encouraging children to get racquets in their hands and getting on the court and being active," Ms Murdoch said.
"We want to get kids involved in tennis so they have an active lifestyle and have a bit of competition, but also just have fun with their friends and family.
"I actually have a bit of a passion for out here in the Central West. This is my area so I wanted to make sure I looked after the country."
While not only is it rewarding to get the kids active, but for Tanya, it's also about 'putting smiles on their faces'.
"Their excitement says it all. One of the children actually said to me today 'this is the best day of my life', those things make it all worth it," she said.
The whole school also got the chance to speak to Australian tennis legend, Todd Woodbridge in a virtual meet and ask some rather challenging questions.
Lue Public School principal Caron McDonald said the opportunity for a small school like Lue Public was just 'fabulous'.
"It's a fabulous opportunity, it really brings tennis to life for the children. [It's] amazing to have a coach here that really knows their stuff rather than teachers trying - we only know what we know," Principal McDonald said.
"But the fact that they're able to talk to a tennis champion is absolutely first-class. Technology just means that don't miss out on anything now, no matter how isolated we are but first-class opportunity, great for the kids.
To have something like this that has brightened up their first year at school, they'll never forget something like this, it's just brilliant.Principal Caron McDonald
"Well we were very lucky, we actually got to watch a little bit of a video before to learn about who he was and why he was famous, so once he actually came on the screen they were really excited to find out more about him and the older students worked so hard to come up with some interesting questions for him."
Principal McDonald also spoke to the disrupted year the school's kindergarten students have had and what this visit meant to them as a small and relatively isolated school.
"Their first year has been such a disrupted year for them, so many of them have been at home for such a long period of time. So to have something like this that has brightened up their first year at school, they'll never forget something like this, it's just brilliant," Principal McDonald said.
"Lue in particular, but small schools are often a bit of an afterthought when it comes to big events or famous people coming out or sporting personalities. We work really hard to make sure that the children aren't disadvantaged so we go and seek out as many opportunities that we can to make sure the small schools don't miss out on anything.
"I just wish we could do this with more sports... This is fabulous for tennis but there are so many sports out there, it would be great to more ambassadors out here for other sports as well."
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