Highly respected Kiwi tennis identity Simon Rea has been confirmed in a full time role at Tennis New Zealand as high performance director.
After spending the past six months on contract Rea a former ATP player, former New Zealand Davis Cup player and also a coach of Nick Kyrgios, Sam Stosur and others has agreed to sign on to the role as a staff member at TNZ.
Most pleasing for Rea over the past few months has been the relationship building and particularly the recent Davis Cup victory over South Korea where a large amount of positivity was garnered and the playing group was a tight unit with a forward looking direction and aim.
"It's been an exciting start to 2017 for me and I've been humbled by the support and encouragement of the team at Tennis NZ and the wider performance community across the country. It's clear there is a significant amount of work to do but I feel like the passion that I've witnessed first-hand in recent months can be a really good indicator that we are, collectively, up for the challenge ahead," said Rea.
"The recent Davis Cup tie with Korea was a fantastic week and one of my prouder moments in tennis. The manner in which our side united and persevered under duress, I couldn't have asked for more from our team. I'd like that to serve as a catalyst for the values that we are wanting to stand for in a broader sense moving forward.
I'm really grateful for the opportunity afforded to me from Tennis NZ and now it's time for all of us to roll the sleeves up and get to work with a sense of purpose, ambition and belief in what's possible for the future of our sport. I can't stress strongly enough the importance of a united approach and a cohesive and robust culture and that will be a strong focus in the short term."
Tennis New Zealand Board President Celia Patrick believed that confirming Rea in a permanent role was a smart move for the organisation going forward, especially with a new strategic plan to be implemented later in the year.
"Simon is respected both on and off the tennis court and around the world. One of his early priorities is to work with the wider tennis community in New Zealand to bring about greater consistency and collaboration around how we develop young players to reach their potential. His leadership of the performance strategy later in the year will be vital. We are pleased to have him on board," said Patrick.
Rea will continue to combine with current staff and has recently been working around the country in the six regions. He will also take the New Zealand Fed Cup as captain in mid-July this year in Tajikistan.