New Zealand

Summary of activities in 2020

Summary of activities in 2020

ACE Programme Lessons

We began 2020 with a new Head Coach, Campbell Cramer-Roberts. Campbell, previously recognized as Coach of the Year in 2016 by Tennis New Zealand, recently retired as Head Coach at Glendowie Tennis Club in Auckland after 27 years of service.

The ACE Programme is held at low decile primary and intermediate schools which we use as a proxy for reaching disadvantaged children.

Campbell reconfigured our ACE Programme Lessons to cater for a full class size of 24-30 disadvantaged children. Each lesson starts with a different “ball sense” game that correlates to the life skill for the day. Children are then split into 4 groups and rotate around 4 “stations” during the lesson. One station includes a ball machine; children are initially taught to catch the soft balls from the ball machine; progressing over the 8 weeks to hitting the soft balls with rackets. Children are given life skills homework in conjunction with their teacher and must report upon it the following week. One lesson is planned to be held at a local tennis club; transport to be provided in conjunction with the school.

Bairds Primary School, Otara, Auckland

The ACE Programme commenced on 12 February 2020 at Bairds Primary School, a decile 1 school in Otara, Auckland with 29 disadvantaged children.

We held 6 lessons through to 18 March 2020 until COVID 19 interrupted the programme. We also held a Teacher Professional Development lesson on 16 March 2020, instructing the teachers how to use the equipment and lessons for the other classes at the school.

As a consequence of successive COVID 19 lockdowns and considerable uncertainty, the remainder of the Bairds programme was not completed. The other planned programmes during 2020 did not commence.

The feedback from the teachers at Bairds on the new lesson configuration was excellent and a step up from the ACE Pilot Programme run at Bairds in 2019. As the ACE Programme with Bairds did not complete, there was no online questionnaire from the children completed.

As a special treat, the Bairds class were taken to the Davis Cup match between New Zealand and Venezuela on 6 March 2020. Here, they learned life skills and etiquette associated with watching tennis. Photos to follow.

ACE Charitable Trust

In the first quarter of 2020, the ACE Charitable Trust, established by ICNZ in late 2019, was granted full charitable and tax status.

The ACE Charitable Trust is responsible for the development of the ACE Programme, fund-raising for the ACE Programme, liaising with schools and tennis clubs, employment of coaches and compliance work in relation to Child Protection. The trustees are all senior members of the IC of New Zealand.

The ACE Charitable Trust has launched a fund-raising programme with ICNZ members. NZ$50 will sponsor a child through an 8-week programme through to NZ$500 sponsoring an ACE Programme through a school. Although a new initiative, we are hopeful it will generate widespread support amongst the ICNZ membership; to date we have raised NZ$2,950. Letter of offer to ICNZ members attached.

Tennis New Zealand, developed the NZ Premier League Teams Event, a televised competition taking advantage of our top men’s players availability in the country during COVID 19. The ACE Programme was the gold coin charity for the event, which was gratefully accepted and significant recognition from our national tennis organisation.

With the cancellation of our January ATP and WTA tournaments, one Auckland tennis club, Gladstone Road, hosted a FAST 4 men’s tennis event in December 2020. It was well attended for an inaugural club event. The ACE Programme was the charity for the day. An auction was held for an Emirates Team New Zealand (America’s Cup) shirt and a practice shirt signed by Rafael Nadal (from the sunscreen sponsor) and raised approximately NZ$6,000 for the ACE Charitable Trust.

Local funding from charitable trusts and regional sports trusts came to a standstill during 2020 with COVID 19, and priorities for funding in the immediate future are unknown. We will reconnect with these organisations in the first half of 2021.


Russell Tills


Chair, ACE Charitable Trust

Vice President, ICNZ


29 December 2020     


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