Paul McNamee defeated in ballot for Tennis Australia presidency
Leo Schlink From: Herald Sun April 19, 2010 9:51AM 2 comments
Steve Healy of Sydney law firm Gadens Lawyers has won a ballot for the presidency of Tennis Australia. Source: Supplied
SYDNEY lawyer Steve Healy is Tennis Australia's new president after defeating Paul McNamee in a secret ballot this morning.
Healy will take over from Geoff Pollard in October.
A former player, Healy claimed a tight contest after month's of political skirmishing.
The Herald Sun exclusively revealed Healy's candidacy during the Australian Open.
President of Tennis New South Wales, a traditional political powerhouse, Healy laid claim to have the key support fellow presidents and member representatives.
He was recently endorsed by former world No. 1 John Newcombe.
McNamee narrowly lost last October's ballot against former friend and work colleague Pollard.
It is uncertain if McNamee will challenge again in 2013, when the next election will be held.
Healy will now undergo a six-month transition to the presidency.
"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 said the key to his platform is "the growth of grassroots tennis via people, programs and local area marketing, player development and facilities.
"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."
Healy's views on producing Australia's next batch of champions appears to differ from that of director of player development Craig Tiley.
"Player development is a priority," Healy said.
"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."
Healy last year represented TA at a meeting of Australian greats including John Newcombe, Tony Roche and Pat Rafter.