The inaugural Tennis Multicultural Engagement Program will take place at the Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic from January 12 to 15, 2016.
Co-hosted by the Global Chinese Tennis Association (GCTA), The Kooyong International Tennis Academy, and the Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic, the program will promote the culture and history of the sport, combine tennis with the arts, and encourage increased multiculturalism in the sport.
The program will feature a finals day opening ceremony with dragon and lion dances on January 15, along with the final of the Australian-Chinese Tennis Championships, which will follow the Kooyong Classic final on Centre Court. The program will also include a range of multicultural performances, tennis competitions for all ages and a gala awards dinner.
GCTA President Zong Gang Fang said: “The Tennis Multicultural Engagement Programwill combine tennis with the arts and other elements, and will encourage more multicultural interest in the sport in Australia.”
GCTA Honorary President Gladys Liu said: “It is a privilege to work with the Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic to help promote tennis to the wider community.
“We know January means tennis in Melbourne, and the Kooyong Classic is a major part of the Australian summer of tennis. The tournament is not as well known within the Chinese and multicultural community, so the program is great opportunity to raise awareness of this major event in Melbourne.
“The events within the program aren’t just for the tennis elite, they’re for anyone of any age who loves tennis to come together to celebrate this great sport. It’s an opportunity for us to bring in people from multicultural backgrounds to witness tennis in this beautiful setting, promoting mutual understanding and respect.”
Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic Tournament Director Brian Cooney said: “This is a significant partnership for the tournament. Tennis is a truly global sport; 44 countries are represented in the ATP World Tour top 100, 42 countries are represented in WTA top 100 and the ITF has more than 140 member nations – as many as the Olympic Committee.
“This event has always portrayed itself as a Victorian community event, so this is an ideal partnership because the program’s focus is community, and our key stakeholders are all community groups. It’s appropriate that we’re holding the program at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club as it’s Victoria’s largest member club, and one of the best – and best-run – tennis clubs in the world.”
Glen Busby, CEO of the Kooyong International Tennis Academy said: “I congratulate the Global Chinese Tennis Association and the Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic for proactively fostering close links between Australian and Chinese tennis families. Australian-China youth exchanges are an important opportunity for learning about one another’s cultures, and tennis is a fantastic vehicle within which this can take place.”
The first such multicultural engagement program organised by the Global Chinese Tennis Association, the Tennis Multicultural Engagement Program will be launched and held during the Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic January 12-15, 2016, and will showcase Melbourne’s multiculturalism through the sport of tennis.
Tickets are now on sale for the 2016 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic at KooyongClassic.com.au.