Hello my name is Chris Williams and I am very fortunate to have been involved in junior tennis for most of my life. I have enjoyed over 30 years operating a respected tennis school in Sydney, am a former PE teacher, parented 3 kids through school, coaching each of their various sports and have fond memories of playing many sports myself as a junior.
Tennis has always been a great sport to be involved with at the junior level as there are so many kids wanting to learn, and parents looking at tennis as a safe and healthy sport for life.
However, I have been concerned for quite some time by the lack of a pathway that currently exists not only in tennis but in many other sports.
I was amazed how many young players were turning up for a lesson once a week yet were not actually playing the game in any purposeful way. These are some of the many questions I’ve had and problems I’ve seen in junior tennis in Australia:
Why aren’t more kids playing?
Why don’t players and coaches understand the required playing standard for each colour ball level?
Why was there so little cohesion or cooperation amongst local coaches/centres/schools and associations to provide more purposeful play experiences for junior players?
How come there are so many lopsided matches, with parents having to travel far and spend more money for their kids to have substandard match experiences?
Why aren’t there more tournaments being offered for this level?
And perhaps most importantly, why has the culture of the sport deteriorated?
Simply, why do so many kids drop out of the sport and why aren’t more kids playing this beautiful game?
Currently in Australia, no effective development pathway exists for 300,000+ players in the Red, Orange and Green ball levels. We know that kids love to learn tennis, and how good the modified balls and smaller courts are for grassroots players. So then why are there so few opportunities for kids at these early levels to enjoy purposeful play in the sport?
After years of feeling disillusioned, I set about creating a pathway for all young players in the Red, Orange and Green ball levels. In 2018, we began piloting events together with our local coaches, schools, centres and the NSTA. The aim was for all players to play tennis in a fun environment and to play more matches with similar level players. We found the “best of points” format to be an absolute winner as this enables all players to enjoy similar game time and also enabled us to develop a highly accurate, objective player rating system backed by an Elo algorithm. In addition to these amazing player benefits, we also wanted to create an effective solution for tournament operators so they can more easily provide better and more frequent match opportunities to the players. We have developed a fantastic tournament management platform for operators. In 2019, I officially founded EPC Sports - redefining the junior tennis pathway for players, coaches and operators.
Now we are seeing more players playing more often and having a lot more fun too. And thanks to our EPC App, they can enjoy tracking their own progress and easily register for EPC events. Our tournament management platform is also providing operators with more players and less admin costs, giving them higher revenue returns. EPC Sports is a win for players, parents and tournament hosts and we are so excited to now be rolling it out to centres across Australia and beyond.
Are you ready to join the EPC community and see Junior Tennis finally reach its full potential?