In November 2012, TA circulated a letter Australia wide to Tennis Clubs attempting to demean ATPCA. This is ATPCA’s response..
Dear President/Coach/Secretary and Club Committee 31/01/13
On behalf of the members of our Association, we believe it is appropriate to respond and bring to your attention the anomalies contained in a letter sent to you by Tennis Australia on 2nd November 2012. We hope this letter assists.
There are over 800 members of ATPCA – representing approximately one third of all the tennis coaches in Australia – most are currently employed in tennis. May we suggest that since Tennis Australia is competing financially in the coach training and membership market, the accuracy of its statements should be put in context and scrutinised. Firstly, ATPCA qualifications are in fact well recognised by clubs, centre owners, and Councils alike – contrary to the implications in the letter to shun our members. It is also important to realise that to offer employment or contract work in any industry including tennis, it is likely to be unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of requiring a coach to belong to a particular Association or group or union irrespective of whether or not the organisation is ATPCA or Tennis Australia (TA).
The only significant difference in training outcomes between ATPCA and TA is ATPCA’s emphasis on a practical course structure with industry relevant training requirements conducted by renowned State providers. The various “authorisations” and “recognitions” mentioned by TA, including ITF, ASC and NCAS and MLC Hot Shots are competitively unattainable since TA, our competitor, already controls, or is principally involved in authorising them – therefore the list of ‘separate’ endorsements in the letter are misleading. Nevertheless, ATPCA will be launching its own modified tennis programme shortly, parallel to the Hot Shots program, providing members and the public with a virtually identical alternative.
Other inferences contained within the letter reveal TA’s misunderstanding of our members’ current status and qualifications. The facts are that; (1) Many ATPCA members already hold a First Aid Certificate, not that First Aid is an imperative industry requirement. (2) Many ATPCA Coaches are already recognised by Tennis Australia (including membership transfers and those coaches qualified when ATPCA was itself recognised and delivering courses for TA). (3) Many have been Police screened for working with children, as considered compulsory by most employers. (4) All ATPCA members are appropriately insured to the industry’s highest standards. From all this, a view could easily be taken that TA’s letter to you about its competitor lacks the normal standards of integrity.
More importantly, under current policy, there’s the absurdity that the Australian Sports Commission requires ATPCA courses to be approved by TA before it will re-issue its (ASC) endorsement. This of course is unrealistic and untenable considering the nature of competition between TA and ATPCA, and will present a challenge for the ombudsman, ACCC and media to arbitrate. We hope you would agree that a “closed shop” is hardly productive to the growth of tennis considering its current challenges.
ATPCA membership and qualification courses save coaches a considerable amount of time and money over paying TA membership and various added fees for its associated programs. The ATPCA, incorporated over 45 years ago, and with Honorary Directors and no Government funding, is an independent, non-profit public company, providing leading training courses, personalised service, and a host of other coaching benefits – in line with the industry’s highest standards for tennis coaches.
You may or may not be aware that ATPCA’s current coach training courses were originally approved by VETAB in 1997 and by the Australian Sports Commission from 1999 to 2007 and remain the same courses that TA itself later approved and then adopted as a basis to develop its own coach training outcomes. Once venturing into the delivery of coach education in 2007, TA acquired 2400 of Tennis Coaches Australia (TCA) State body members hence closing down those renowned bodies and the benefits that derive from competition. Financial offers for ATPCA members were rejected.
We trust you would agree that a monopoly style governance is unproductive. Our policy is for the betterment of game including increased tennis participation and we believe that non-confronting and more congenial relations between organisations in the same sport, produce better outcomes. We therefore seek your continued support of ATPCA as we represent and protect our members’ best interests by ensuring they are not subject to prejudicial treatment in carrying out their profession.