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Southland tennis news with Daryl Holden
Tennis Southland head has plans
Eye on the ball: Tennis Southland's new regional manager Paul Westbury.
Photo: DARYL HOLDEN
Quality club experience is
incoming manager's goal
Who: Paul Westbury
What: Tennis Southland's new
regional manager, replacing Tina
Sporting background -- rowing:
1992-1996 Rowing New Zealand's
national coach and junior
2001-2009, Worked with rowing
clubs and rowers in New Zealand,
United States and Canada.
Sport Southland coaching
manager -- 2009-2012:
Other sports: Filled management
and governance roles with
Badminton Southland, Volleyball
Southland and Squash Southland.
Paul Westbury says he's ''pretty
average'' at playing tennis but
that won't stop him trying to lift
the sport to a whole new level in
Westbury has replaced Tina
Haslett as Tennis Southland's new
regional manager and he comes
into the job with an impressive
sports management and coaching
background -- and a real desire to
make a difference.
''It's only early days but, together
with the coaches and the board,
we'll have to get our heads
together,'' Westbury said.
''The first step is getting a clear
picture of where everyone wants
to go because it's going to take a
real team effort.
''My job is to just do the leg work
once the decisions have been
made and to help coaches deliver
the best coaching they can and
make sure the front office is right.
''That's where I see I can
contribute the best.''
Westbury has a vital role to play
because he arrives at a time of
slightly unsettling management
change, with Haslett's departure
followed by Jo Smith's decision to
step down as Tennis Southland's
Katrina Garrett has also joined
Tennis Southland as the new
administration support person
and, with her help, Westbury
can't wait to get his teeth into the
day-to-day running of the sport
because his background has
concentrated heavily on coaching.
He was Rowing New Zealand's
national coach and junior pro-
gramme co-ordinator from 1992 to
1996 and also worked as an
international rowing coaching
consultant in Canada and the
He was also Sport Southland's
coaching manager from 2009 to
2012 and has recently filled
management and governance
roles with Badminton Southland,
Volleyball Southland and Squash
But now tennis is his game and he
has been quick to tap into key
people connected with the sport
across Southland to identify
issues. The obvious problems -- a
lack of players, no provincial-wide
interclub competitions and the
high cost to play the sport at an
elite level -- have probably already
smacked him in the head like a
Westbury has a simple idea of
what needs to happen. ''You have
to make sure that everyone who
comes near a tennis club has a
great time and a real quality
experience,'' he said.
''It's not to say we're not like that
now but we need to look to
constantly improve. But the really
great thing is that the people I
have met so far are so just
passionate. They have said the
past season was really busy but
they've had a great time, and
that's a great starting point.''
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