WINTON TENNIS ACADEMY
The Winton Tennis Academy is a philanthropic venture established and fully funded by Winton aimed solely at providing young New Zealand men and women with the sporting, academic and life skills to enable them to gain a scholarship to a world-class university.
The Winton Tennis Academy, founded by Winton as the Lakes District Tennis Trust, has already selected a group of 8 students who are participating in the programme and aims to increase this to 16 students once a purpose-built facility is completed.
The proposed facility is to be built on Winton owned land at the base of the Bridesdale Farm subdivision near Lake Hayes Estate. It will comprise 8 courts, including 2 covered courts, teaching and meeting rooms, indoor viewing areas, a kitchenette and additional training and gym areas.
The Academy programme will create some great New Zealand sportsmen and women and the facility will bring enormous benefit to the local community.
Students will come from all around New Zealand and the Pacific and will attend Wakatipu High School. They will have the benefit of full-time dedicated tennis coaches as well as financial assistance for uniforms, equipment, and travel to tennis tournaments both locally and abroad, as well as academic tutoring to give each and every student the best possible chance of achieving a level of tennis and academic achievement that will gain them overseas university scholarships.
The Winton Tennis Academy already has the support of top tennis stars and coaches such as Pat Rafter, Wayne Ferreira, Cara Black, Neville Godwin (Association of Tennis Professionals ATP Coach of the Year 2017) as well as local Queenstown inspirations Ben and Riki McLachlan.
New Zealand's premier tennis coach
Lan Bale is a tennis professional with over 35 years of experience in the game. He started playing at age 9 in his native South Africa, and after a successful junior career that included playing in all the Junior Grand Slams, he spent 11 years playing on the ATP tour. During his pro tennis career, Lan competed in 23 Grand Slams and reached career-high rankings of 23 in doubles and 170 in singles. He won four ATP Tour doubles titles and made the Wimbledon quarter-final in 1994 with New Zealand’s Brett Steven. Lan also had the honour of being elected by his peers to represent them on the ATP Player Council. After retiring from the tour in 2000, Lan coached college tennis at the University of California, Berkeley, for two years. At Berkeley, Lan was selected as the PAC 10 Conference Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002. In 2003, Lan coached good friend and fellow South African Wayne Ferreira to the semifinals of the Australian Open.
Success for local juniors being coached by Lan Bale
Since moving to Queenstown in September 2002, Lan has worked with players including Riki and Ben McLachlan, who have both played in all the Junior Grand Slams. In addition, they have both graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, on tennis scholarships. Numerous other Queenstown young tennis players have also gone on to US universities on tennis scholarships over the years. Ben McLachlan now plays Davis Cup for Japan and is currently ranked 25th in the world in doubles. In 2018, Ben made the semi-finals of the doubles at the Australian Open.
From 2013 through until the end of 2017 Lan worked for Tennis New Zealand as a National Selector and Performance Coach. During this time Lan travelled extensively with New Zealand’s top juniors. Lan also spent time with New Zealand’s top doubles players including at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Lan currently works full-time for the Winton Tennis Academy in Queenstown.
The Winton Tennis Academy is registered with the NZ Charities Commission as the Lakes District Tennis Trust. Our registered charity number is CC52086.