Community News tennis columnist Warren Harding attended the Newcombe Medal in Melbourne on Monday night. Here is his report from Crown Palladium.
WA tennis featured on many fronts at the prestigious 2017 Newcombe Medal, Australia Tennis awards this week.
President of the Onslow Park Tennis Club James Edwards was awarded the Volunteer Achievement Award.
Edwards was one of three national finalists for this award that honours the volunteers who foster relationships between their club and the community.
Edwards, who has been club president for the last 13 years, has helped transform Onslow into a thriving club for juniors, pennants and social memberships, with connections throughout the Shenton Park and Subiaco community.
Edwards was presented with his trophy by former world number one Evonne Goolagong.
Riverton Primary School was the eventual winner in the Most Outstanding School category.
This is the second time in an as many years that a WA school has claimed the award.
Riverton has been involved in the Tennis Australia’s School Partnership Program for three years and developed a strong partnership with Corinthian Park Tennis Club to increase student participation in tennis.
The award was received by Riverton Primary School physical education teacher Rhys Brooks.
The 2017 Newcombe Medal winner Ashleigh Barty was announced by John Newcombe in front of a packed crowd of more than 800.
The win caps off a breakout 12 months for Barty where she finished the year ranked at No.17.
Her highlight of the year came at the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur where she took out her first WTA singles title and then reached the final at both Wuhan and Birmingham, where she defeated top 10 players Garbine Muguruza, Johanna Konta, Karolina Pliskova and Jelena Ostapenko.
Barty edged out WA nominee John Peers, who is world No 4 doubles player and had a standout year winning both the Australian Open and World ATP doubles finals in London, and fellow nominees Daria Gavrilova (Vic), Nick Kyrgios (ACT) and Jordan Thompson (NSW).
The Newcombe Medal is the premier award presented on a night that recognises players, coaches, clubs, communities, volunteers and officials for their service to the sport.
The awards have been held annually since 2010.
WA’s Alicia Molik was one of the presenters.