AATC Savitar Singapore
Australian born to Dutch parents
▶ Moved to Singapore in 1977. Tennis in the family
▶ Played tournaments in Singapore and South East Asia as a junior.
▶ 1982 – Peter Burwash International tennis Camp in Hawaii. Turning point realising that I would not be strong enough to play at a professional level.
▶ 1984 – Coaching Certification course in Singapore. Helped me recognise that I had the “gift of the gab” for teaching
▶ 84 to 88. College in the US. Very high level of tennis and learn a lot about discipline, injuries and most importantly enjoyment of the game.
▶ 88 to 93 – Perth, WA. Short stint in Hotel Industry. Learning experience to be particular about the small things. A key factor in running a tennis business. Coached in Perth for a few years. Interesting experience but felt a lack of possibilities for future development
▶ 1993- Moved back to Singapore. Worked as one of the first foreign coaches here. Built a strong reputation through a combination of professionalism, high level of service and most importantly a “yes sir, three bags full sir” approach. This opened up a lot of doors.
▶ 1996 – First experience with ITF Coaches workshop. Again a turning point.
▶ 1997 – Head Program Coach for Singapore Tennis Association. Job was to oversee 32 coaches in 8 locations that have all been doing their “own thing” . They were all assigned by the association to run the national junior tennis scheme “SPEX Program” It was very messy and at the same time extremely interesting to see all the different personalities, approaches to coaching etc. You can teach systems and curriculum but you can’t teach personality! I specifically looked for empathy in the coaches. Those that were out there for the passion vs the money.
▶ Presented at the ITF Asian Coaches workshop in KL in 1998
▶ Presented in the ITF Worldwide coaches workshop in Beijing in 2002. Fantastic experiences meeting so many coaches. Was recognised to become
•▶ 1999 – Left association and joined a friend, Rolf Harrison, that started Savitar. We had a vision. To manage tennis for clubs, hotels and schools throughout Singapore. Rolf is a highly educated, very driven business guy with a very strong tennis background. With his business sense and my front line service approach we developed a multi million dollar business.
▶ MOTO for company – “Better tennis, More Fun!” …… I can explain this
▶ Built business to manage 12 locations with 25 full time coaches. Very steep learning curve to run a business. Important business traits: Housekeeping, communication with coaches and clients, listening and learning, professionalism ….
▶ Main issues we had to deal with over time- Clubs and Schools going in house, committee clubs having vested interest and government regulations on work passes. And all the various personalities of coaches, developing teams of coaches etc.
▶ DIVERSIFYING: Started the Junior Team Tennis League in 2007 with 12 teams. This is now the largest tennis league in Asia with over 105 teams. Offering match play experience to junior players.
▶ Ran the WTA Finals Pro Ams and Clinics with Legend players for 5 years.
▶ Introduced to AATC 4 years ago. Excited to get back into coaches education. Their approach is one that I can relate to as it is very practical and “user friendly” Savitar has hosted AATC Coaches courses at STC. We developed the Level 0 course for Assistant / Student coaches.
▶ Savitar has become smaller in size, but through implementing systems has become much more lucrative as a business than before. And having a team of staff that I can work well with. Corp team set up – will explain
▶ In April 2019 I had the privilege to assist Lynton to conduct a course in India. An amazing experience meeting all the coaches. 41C. Very hot. Incredible hospitality.
▶ Savitar was acquired by a huge Health and Fitness company called UFIT. This has opened up a whole direction for Savitar in the future.
▶ Business stopped throughout our Circuit Breaker in Singapore for 3 months. But business is booming now for various reasons that I can explain if needed.
▶ PTR Pro
▶ TA level 1
▶ ITF Level 2
▶ AATC Master
▶ AATC Lifetime Achievement