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PAPERBACK BOOKS

ONE HUNDRED SMILES



one hundred smiles cover

This is the life story of a proud Australian who resided in the New South Wales country town of Maitland. Following retirement, he and family now reside on the Gold Coast of Queensland. 

Peter Taylor saw in his early youth “the necessity to improve the opportunities for tennis players in the Hunter Valley”. His positive foresight continued consistently for over 50 years. 

From the beginning Peter presented a “hands-on approach” to his challenge. He commenced his journey in his early teenage years as a handyman for the popular Hunter Valley Championships and completed that journey with owning a unique family tennis centre, unlike any in regional New South Wales.

The strong traits of character he portrayed throughout that journey were truth and endeavour, honour and loyalty. His secret for success was good teamwork! 

His story follows with amazing opportunities he brought to the tennis public of the Hunter Valley and regional Australia.

In Store Price: $27.95 
Online Price:   $26.95

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ISBN: 978-1-920699-15-4
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 181
Genre: Non Fiction

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Cover photo provided by George Steele of the Maitland Mercury Newspapers 1979

Image used under license from Shutterstock.com. Lance Bellers/Shutterstock.com

 

 

© Cover Design—Zeus Publications 2019


 


Author
- Peter Taylor
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2019
Language: English


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FOREWORD 

 

When Peter asked me to write a foreword to the book on his life story, I was only too happy to oblige.

Peter is one of those quiet achievers or ‘little Aussie battlers’ that help to make Australia the great nation we have become over the last 200 years. They were especially evident in the Sydney ‘2000 Olympics’ when around 63,000 volunteers showed off to the world the ‘friendly face’ of Australia.

Back in 1980, Tony Roche and I had recently retired from the circuit and were aghast at the lack of junior programs throughout the country. We had started to run summer tennis camps in Armidale, a city four and a half hours north of Sydney on the New England Highway. We selected Armidale because we were able to access 65 tennis courts plus plenty of accommodation at the University of New England.

Each of the three weeks of camp was attended by 350 boys and girls aged 8-18 and to coach them we had 65 coaches come in from all over Australia. It was from these coaches, many from country towns, that we found out the dire state of tennis despite the brave face put on by tennis officials.

With the support of Custom Credit and the Federal Government we started a program called Custom Credit Operation Tennis, and it ran completely outside of official tennis circles. Within a year we had 80 centres operating junior programs, most of them in country towns. Tony Roche ran an elite training program in Sydney for the 10 best players we could find aged 11-14, working with them for three hours each afternoon.

Towns along the New England Highway had been a hotbed of tennis in the 1950s and ’60s but although there were still hundreds of tennis courts, the programs had died out. It was in this climate that I got to know Peter Taylor and many others who were only too willing to take on the task of rebuilding junior tennis; all they required was some direction and encouragement plus some money to help pay for balls and court hire. My catch cry was: ‘I am doing this for no money and will organise and run it so please follow me’. Recognising Peter’s devotion to the game and his desire to be involved, I asked him to organise Northern NSW. Together with Max Schaefer from Armidale and others from the many towns in this large area, junior tennis was once again on the move.

Within four years we found a new and bigger sponsor in McDonald’s and talked Tennis Australia into a joint venture, creating the largest national junior program the country had ever seen. Peter was involved in the whole process and, knowing what I know how important these people are at the grass roots of a sport, it saddens me to see how key decisions on development are made without consulting these truly wonderful quiet achievers.

Tony Roche and I have a saying: “It happens at the ‘coal face’, mate, not in bureaucratic boardrooms by people who have no idea what the ‘coal face’ is”. Peter did a great job in creating his own tennis club and academy, a dream of his that he can really be proud of. He can also look back on his life and say, ‘I didn’t get any major headlines but I got immense personal satisfaction from how much I achieved at the ‘coal face’!’

Well done, Peter, I’m proud to have known you.

 john newcombe

John Newcombe – 2018

PROLOGUE

 

 

Welcome to a special story!

Written in 2017 by a passionate sporting Australian, this autobiography presents a magical history of life with success over 50 plus years. It is about how you feel and what you can achieve! This book title represents the final outcome of a special achievement of mine. I approached retirement and it was during my final school term as a full-time professional tennis coach of 30 years. The 10-week school term of 2006 was my last “tennis in schools” program in the Hunter Valley. My desire was to introduce tennis to primary-age students of Seaham State Public School. The school then had an enrolment of only 140 pupils. Each class participated for two weeks only, in a 90-minute session. Most pupils came from part of a sound farming village with a great mix of parents from working-class families, besides families with a farming background.

My introduction to each child was “to attempt One Hundred Smiles before lunch time every day, seven days weekly”. The success of this program was amazing. Within a week or two, before school time, while setting up the tennis court, the students would call out the slogan as they alighted from their bus, and enter the school grounds in a happy frame of mind. In fact, teachers welcomed the change shown in their pupils, and the principal reported that parents believed my One Hundred Smiles had changed the outlook of the entire village. I have deliberately highlighted these words throughout each chapter to inspire the reader.

My parents taught me “the only goal I have is giving 100% every day”. My life had included many minor achievements. However, my “self-belief” was previously never fully achieved toward a satisfactory “pride in myself”. A contributing factor was because both my parents were high achievers. They expected the same of me, without some suitable recognition. In education I had achieved very high levels at primary school. However, my grades suffered at high school, when in 1961, when I was 14 years of age, the family suffered the tragic loss of my 17-year-old older brother Tony in a simple car accident. It truly was a turning point in the lives of my entire family.

In the 1950s, tennis became part of my life. The early stages of my development benefitted from the annual visits to my hometown of Maitland by the 1947 Australian Singles Champion, Dinny Pails. Throughout the 1960s, Dinny helped me with my tennis goals, largely due to his association with Spalding Australia. My family drove my goals in the 1970s. John Newcombe and Tony Roche, initially due to my involvement with Custom Credit Operation Tennis, drove my goals in the 1980s and beyond. I admire both these gentlemen for their amazing success in bringing Australian Tennis back to the “top of the international tree”.

Graduation with a Certificate of Accountancy at Maitland & Newcastle TAFE Colleges allowed me to complete 15 years of administrative and management duties as an employee in the public service of the Hunter District Water Board. I have endured a very successful marriage exceeding 49 years, and my wife and I raised three very successful children. Many major achievements occurred in my 50 years in the sport of tennis as a player, coach and administrator. It was at the official opening of our Taylor Tennis Academy in May 1985 that John Newcombe and Tony Roche instilled in me the desire to “climb the mountain”. I have attempted to follow Newk’s theme.

I am very lucky to have enjoyed many strong friendships throughout my life. Many friends reached the top of the mountain I desired. It was a privilege to share those friendships, which for many “I carry for the rest of my life”. I feel blessed with this result! 

INTRODUCTION

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

Welcome to a special story!

Written in 2017 by a passionate sporting Australian, this autobiography presents a magical history of life with success over 50 plus years. It is about how you feel and what you can achieve! This book title represents the final outcome of a special achievement of mine. I approached retirement and it was during my final school term as a full-time professional tennis coach of 30 years. The 10-week school term of 2006 was my last “tennis in schools” program in the Hunter Valley. My desire was to introduce tennis to primary-age students of Seaham State Public School. The school then had an enrolment of only 140 pupils. Each class participated for two weeks only, in a 90-minute session. Most pupils came from part of a sound farming village with a great mix of parents from working-class families, besides families with a farming background.

My introduction to each child was “to attempt One Hundred Smiles before lunch time every day, seven days weekly”. The success of this program was amazing. Within a week or two, before school time, while setting up the tennis court, the students would call out the slogan as they alighted from their bus, and enter the school grounds in a happy frame of mind. In fact, teachers welcomed the change shown in their pupils, and the principal reported that parents believed my One Hundred Smiles had changed the outlook of the entire village. I have deliberately highlighted these words throughout each chapter to inspire the reader.

My parents taught me “the only goal I have is giving 100% every day”. My life had included many minor achievements. However, my “self-belief” was previously never fully achieved toward a satisfactory “pride in myself”. A contributing factor was because both my parents were high achievers. They expected the same of me, without some suitable recognition. In education I had achieved very high levels at primary school. However, my grades suffered at high school, when in 1961, when I was 14 years of age, the family suffered the tragic loss of my 17-year-old older brother Tony in a simple car accident. It truly was a turning point in the lives of my entire family.

In the 1950s, tennis became part of my life. The early stages of my development benefitted from the annual visits to my hometown of Maitland by the 1947 Australian Singles Champion, Dinny Pails. Throughout the 1960s, Dinny helped me with my tennis goals, largely due to his association with Spalding Australia. My family drove my goals in the 1970s. John Newcombe and Tony Roche, initially due to my involvement with Custom Credit Operation Tennis, drove my goals in the 1980s and beyond. I admire both these gentlemen for their amazing success in bringing Australian Tennis back to the “top of the international tree”.

Graduation with a Certificate of Accountancy at Maitland & Newcastle TAFE Colleges allowed me to complete 15 years of administrative and management duties as an employee in the public service of the Hunter District Water Board. I have endured a very successful marriage exceeding 49 years, and my wife and I raised three very successful children. Many major achievements occurred in my 50 years in the sport of tennis as a player, coach and administrator. It was at the official opening of our Taylor Tennis Academy in May 1985 that John Newcombe and Tony Roche instilled in me the desire to “climb the mountain”. I have attempted to follow Newk’s theme.

I am very lucky to have enjoyed many strong friendships throughout my life. Many friends reached the top of the mountain I desired. It was a privilege to share those friendships, which for many “I carry for the rest of my life”. I feel blessed with this result!

INTRODUCTION  

Peter Taylor had the ambition to co-ordinate sport in the Hunter Valley alongside a good education. He was convinced that the opportunity to develop both education and sport would carry to higher levels of character. He already had shown a strong reputation of incorporating discipline in tennis. Sport and education together are a tremendous way to develop character.

Unfortunately, sport doesn’t have as high a profile here in the Australian education system as it does in overseas countries like the United States. There are 1400 colleges in the US that cater for tennis scholarships. Here in Australia we have one.

Peter wanted to see more opportunity, but we were not moving fast enough. The US College system, with its athletic and sporting programs, was far more advanced than the equivalent Australian opportunities. This comment must be aligned with population. It would be great to hear students say: “My goal in sport is to allow me to gain a tertiary education degree”.

It was disappointing that there was not greater support of what Taylor Tennis Academy could do on a district level. Modest support from the State Tennis Association and some regional affiliates had been shown towards the national junior tennis development programs, namely Custom Credit Operation Tennis and McDonalds Junior Tennis Australia. Both these programs had been initiated locally by Peter, who held a NSW State Directorship since their introduction in 1980. However, there remained minimal support from local affiliates.

Peter was the sole coach appointed to the national McDonalds’s Junior Tennis Australia program. The program in Maitland operated on three group levels relative to standard of play, namely Category 1, 2 and 3. The McDonald’s Junior Tennis Australia program was extremely good and diverse for the age champion or the representative player. Category 1 had two training sessions a week and Categories 2 and 3 involved one training session a week, while all sessions were of two hours duration.

Peter was the only full-time tennis professional certified in the Maitland area by Tennis Coaches Australia, the recognised national coaching program of Tennis Australia. The playing standard here in Maitland had become very high on a regional basis. However, on a state basis the standard wasn’t as high as it had been over the previous five years. On a national player standard basis, we were ranked very high in the Hunter Region.

Peter was employed with the Hunter District Water Board for 16½ years until 1980. He was a former representative junior player in the mid-1960s and at that time moved on to be Secretary of Maitland City Tennis Club for a record term. His efforts over a decade in that position with the club saw him awarded a life membership at 30 years of age – a distinct honour.

His strong interest in tennis coaching grew dramatically when he was given the opportunity to go to the United States in 1978 to see if “he wanted to pursue a coaching career”. Giving up a secure job with the HDWB and moving to the US with his wife and a young family was a gamble. He returned after nine months overseas and in the following year his family commenced Taylor Tennis Academy at Raworth, a suburb of Maitland.

Peter’s ambition to co-ordinate sport in the Hunter Valley alongside a good education was becoming a reality. His overseas experience with his family further developed the challenge to include travel opportunities within the sporting environment. He chose to give as many juniors from Maitland and, in particular, the NSW country region the opportunity to experience at a young age a cultural exchange. He wanted to see these juniors broaden their horizons.

Peter’s successful journey is now yours to follow.

 

Peter Taylor had the ambition to co-ordinate sport in the Hunter Valley alongside a good education. He was convinced that the opportunity to develop both education and sport would carry to higher levels of character. He already had shown a strong reputation of incorporating discipline in tennis. Sport and education together are a tremendous way to develop character.

Unfortunately, sport doesn’t have as high a profile here in the Australian education system as it does in overseas countries like the United States. There are 1400 colleges in the US that cater for tennis scholarships. Here in Australia we have one.

Peter wanted to see more opportunity, but we were not moving fast enough. The US College system, with its athletic and sporting programs, was far more advanced than the equivalent Australian opportunities. This comment must be aligned with population. It would be great to hear students say: “My goal in sport is to allow me to gain a tertiary education degree”.

It was disappointing that there was not greater support of what Taylor Tennis Academy could do on a district level. Modest support from the State Tennis Association and some regional affiliates had been shown towards the national junior tennis development programs, namely Custom Credit Operation Tennis and McDonalds Junior Tennis Australia. Both these programs had been initiated locally by Peter, who held a NSW State Directorship since their introduction in 1980. However, there remained minimal support from local affiliates.

Peter was the sole coach appointed to the national McDonalds’s Junior Tennis Australia program. The program in Maitland operated on three group levels relative to standard of play, namely Category 1, 2 and 3. The McDonald’s Junior Tennis Australia program was extremely good and diverse for the age champion or the representative player. Category 1 had two training sessions a week and Categories 2 and 3 involved one training session a week, while all sessions were of two hours duration.

Peter was the only full-time tennis professional certified in the Maitland area by Tennis Coaches Australia, the recognised national coaching program of Tennis Australia. The playing standard here in Maitland had become very high on a regional basis. However, on a state basis the standard wasn’t as high as it had been over the previous five years. On a national player standard basis, we were ranked very high in the Hunter Region.

Peter was employed with the Hunter District Water Board for 16½ years until 1980. He was a former representative junior player in the mid-1960s and at that time moved on to be Secretary of Maitland City Tennis Club for a record term. His efforts over a decade in that position with the club saw him awarded a life membership at 30 years of age – a distinct honour.

His strong interest in tennis coaching grew dramatically when he was given the opportunity to go to the United States in 1978 to see if “he wanted to pursue a coaching career”. Giving up a secure job with the HDWB and moving to the US with his wife and a young family was a gamble. He returned after nine months overseas and in the following year his family commenced Taylor Tennis Academy at Raworth, a suburb of Maitland.

Peter’s ambition to co-ordinate sport in the Hunter Valley alongside a good education was becoming a reality. His overseas experience with his family further developed the challenge to include travel opportunities within the sporting environment. He chose to give as many juniors from Maitland and, in particular, the NSW country region the opportunity to experience at a young age a cultural exchange. He wanted to see these juniors broaden their horizons.

Peter’s successful journey is now yours to follow.

 

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