Faculty of Business and Law

School of Management and Marketing

2010 Advancing Sport Management Award

This annual award honours a graduate from Deakin University's Sport Management program who has contributed to the advancement of sport through their excellent managerial and/or administrative skills. The award is supported by the School of Management and Marketing and the Bowater Trust.

2010 winner, Robin O'Neill

Master of Business (Sport Management), 2004

General Manager, Community Tennis

Robin O'Neill commenced with Tennis Australia in 2006 transferring from a game development role at Tennis Victoria. In November 2006 he was appointed as General Manager Community Tennis. As General Manager of Community Tennis, Robin has been instrumental in advancing the sport of tennis through his management of two key sport development policy initiatives:

Tennis Australia Facility Development and Management Policy Framework

  • Led a team to conduct an audit of all of the tennis facilities throughout Australia
  • Commissioned a facility census that led to a tool that allowed Tennis Australia to better analyse court and clubhouse attributes as well as quality
  • Robin's use of the results from this census have been critical to the subsequent development and publishing of a facility development and management framework for tennis, which maps out a vision for facility development until 2020.
  • Over the last 3 years, 899 new courts have been built worth over $145 million which was stimulated via a national court rebate grant scheme

Tennis Australia MLC Tennis Hot Shots Program, a National Junior Development Program.

  • Designed and implemented the tennis hot shots program, a junior learn to play program for coaches based on modified equipment.
  • In three years, this first ever program for tennis has grown to be offered through 753 venues and involves 193,000 participants.

Robin's working knowledge of sport governance was coupled with his ability to engage people to create aligned strategy and implement programs and shared services. As GM Community Tennis, Robin has been instrumental in the development of sport development policy, as well as implement and operationalise development policy and programs. He has successfully managed two interrelated projects that together have contributed significantly to Tennis Australia's mission to grow the game. Tennis has reversed a nine year decline in participation with most growth occurring in organised club play.

Research has been the focus of Robin's ability to ensure that program delivery has an impact on national delivery of tennis and the objective to grow the game. In developing the strategic objectives for community tennis, Robin led a national research program. The research 'Tennis Participation in Australia 2010' provides the foundation for the development of and review of current participation program that will ensure future growth of the sport. Robin's dedication and passion has made a significant impact on the growth and delivery of tennis in Australia

Malcolm Speed and Nick Honey Robin O'Neill accepting his Advancing Sport Award at the 21st Anniversary Dinner.

Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

21st March 2013