Guardians of the Game: Fiji's unlikely doubles team

6 July 2017

Max offers tips at Topline community in Lautoka, Fiji. Credit: ABC, Aaron Kearney

Two security guards, Max and Lai, spent half a decade watching tennis before daring to pick up a racquet. Now they are in charge of making sure the next generation of Fijians never have to wait to hit a ball.

For five years, they watched over and protected Fiji's most precious tennis courts and not once did they pick up a racquet or hit a single ball.

Fijian Tennis Development Officers Max and Lai. Credit: ABC, Aaron Kearney

With the assistance of Australian Aid, Max and Lai were offered a chance to train as tennis development officers. Now, the converted security guards are tennis tutors, and have given tennis development a whole new face in Fiji. Max and Lai still spend their share of time looking after the tennis centre as groundskeepers and maintenance men, in between forays into villages and schools.

The Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) program is Australia’s flagship sport for development program in the Pacific. Through PSP, Australia supports activities to address primary risk factors associated with non-communicable diseases, particularly physical inactivity, and address inequalities experienced by women, girls and people living with disability.

Australia Plus: Guardians of the Game: Fiji's unlikely doubles team

Lai oversees a clinic at the Topline community in Lautoka, Fiji. Credit: ABC, Aaron Kearney
Last Updated: 6 July 2017