Aussie Snubbery.

After months of bickering within Tennis Aus that eventually became the subject of a TV current affairs investigation, Paul McNamee has been snubbed once again for the presidency of TA, as Sydney lawyer Steve Healy won the presidency in a secret ballot held in Melbourne this morning.

The votes were cast by the tennis associations of each state and territory –

  • Tennis New South Wales and Tennis Victoria: 3 votes each
  • Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia: 2
  • ACT and Northern Territory: 1

The boards of each tennis association directs its president on how to vote. In the event of a tie, the president – Geoff Pollard casts the deciding vote.

Coming into the vote, Healy, as the president of Tennis NSW, was understood to have the votes of NSW, Queensland, ACT, Northern Territory, with Western Australia and Victoria locked for McNamee. Tasmania and South Australia were the power brokers in the ballot. (The Australian)

Healy will take over from Geoff Pollard in October.

“My leadership and agenda for change in NSW has encouraged the other States to back me in the forthcoming election,” Healy said.

“I made hard decisions to modernise and unite the game, including: “change, broken structures”, institute accountability and governance at the board level, and involve coaches in player development and competition programs.

“The states have observed my leadership skills and ability to drive change where it is needed.

“They see that I am a big picture person, who is not divisive, who does not do deals in order to effect change.”

Healy claimed to be more focused on grassroots tennis and player development.

“We need to get coaches and clubs more involved,” he said. There needs to be more flexibility, inclusiveness and transparency to the business of tennis.”

“Player development is a priority. Our player development program, which is focused on producing top 10 players, needs more flexibility if we are to get results.There is no one way to produce a champion. We need the right people available and working with our elite players.

“We need to better transition juniors to senior ranks. We need to utilise ex-players as well as coaches. Tennis Australia has a role in player development. Participation, though, is the responsibility of the member associations.

“I believe the member associations need to make tennis inviting, accessible and affordable to people including families. To do this, there needs to be more financial and marketing support from Tennis Australia.

“As a past player, an administrator and president of a member association, I have first-hand knowledge, experience, and the credibility to drive change, to unite tennis and move it forward.”

Source: Herald Sun

The Australian reports that former World No 1 John Newcombe wrote to all the member associations urging them to vote for Healy, while Lleyton Hewitt has always been vocal in the media about his support for McNamee.

Sam Stosur, Australia’s highest ranked female player, has ‘played Switzerland’ in this rift.

McNamee also narrowly lost last October’s ballot against the incumbent Pollard, who was re-elected for just a one year term. Pollard has since announced that he would stand down this October after a 21 year stint as the president of TA.

McNamee is not expected at the moment to run for presidency again in 2013, at the conclusion of Healy’s term.



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