|ABOUT THE COACH|
Wayne Hannah- Tennis Townsville Head Coach
With Geoff Moore as his first coach, he was soon playing his first tournament in the under-13s division at the Townsville Age Titles and ended up winning the under-15s division a few years later. With trophies as prizes, Wayne had a collection that would put most people to shame. When asked what it was like as a junior on the circuit, he replied with 'it was exciting, going to all of those different places'. He has travelled to Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, and New Zealand.
At the age of 18, Wayne moved to Brisbane to study at Queensland University of Technology. However, he missed tennis until he trialled and fell in love with coaching tennis. This got him an offer from Trevor Fancutt's Coaching School to become a full-time coach. Wayne is still coaching to this day and says that he loves every minute of it.
When Wayne was 19 years of age, he moved to Kassel, Germany to coach and play tennis. Wayne won the Nord Hessen tournament in Kassel and the Guttingham City Championships. ''It was exciting and new because it was on clay (courts), and it was very interesting and demanding because during the summer you played on clay courts and during winter, you had to play on the carpet courts which were indoor." Wayne said.
He soon began returning to Australia during the German winters for the Aussie summers to train and play tournaments to prepare for the German tennis season. Then he would go back to Germany for their summer season, because 'the temperature was freezing in the winter'. He returned from Germany at 26, with the skill and experience to win a number of tournaments here in Australia.
He moved back because he was offered a job at the Willows Racquet Centre in Townsville and because 'after a long time away, you start to miss your hometown'. He coached at the Willows Racquet Centre and also at schools in Charters Towers.
Wayne said that he has a great love of competing and the competition. He said the biggest name he has ever beaten would have be the current Davis Cup captain, John Fitzgerald, when he played him in a satellite tournament in Newcastle. His best match would be against John Marks, who was the Australian Open runner-up in 1979; where Wayne lost in three sets (1-6 6-4 8-6).He has also played the former Wimbledon doubles champion, Geoff Masters in the Far North Queensland Men's Open singles final, which was held in Cairns. Wayne competed in the North Queensland Open Men's single final seven times, but came out lucky the eighth time, in 1999.
Wayne said he would never give up tennis and he still plays and coaches, but he has more of a passion for coaching others, than playing himself.
Wayne has coached many regional, State players and even an Australian champion. His most outstanding pupil to date would be John-Patrick Smith, who he has coached from the age of eight. John-Patrick just graduated from the University of Tennessee where he had a remarkably successfull tennis career. JP is now ready to take the next step and go professional.
Nowadays, Wayne Hannah spends most of his time coaching at Tennis Townsville in Burke St, Townsville, and likes spending the rest of his time with his friends and family. For most people, waking up at 5 am in the morning and going to work is something worth dreading; but to Wayne Hannah it brings the excitement of a new day. Wayne's passion for tennis is one that will continue for the rest of his life.