In March of this year, the newly founded Tennis Academy Burgenland was presented to the public by Sports Regional Councillor Heinrich Dorner, Wolfgang Thiem, Head of the Tennis Academy Burgenland, Günter Kurz, President of the Burgenland Tennis Association and Anton Beretzki, Managing Director of Sport Burgenland GmbH at the Sporthotel Kurz in Oberpullendorf. On 05 September 2022, at the start of the new school year, operations could now officially begin and the young tennis talents could serve for the first time.
“With this tennis academy, with these highly professional elements, we want to give tennis in Burgenland even more importance. The goal is to offer our tennis players the opportunity to move towards top-level sport. This requires optimal training and supervision. With the BSSM Oberschützen, we have also succeeded in developing an extremely attractive school construct. With this Burgenland showcase project, we want to inspire more children and young people for sport, especially for tennis. I am convinced that this tennis academy will meet with broad acceptance and that the first successes in top-level sport will soon be visible,” says Provincial Councillor Heinrich Dorner.
For the U14 category, from 6 to 14 years of age, 16 people – exclusively Burgenlanders – registered. With Constantin Neubauer from UTC Bad Sauerbrunn, the current No. 1 of the U14 in the ÖTV ranking is on board here. In the U19 section – 15 to 19 years – there are currently 9 participants. In this group, Thilo Behrmann and Jan Hemetzberger, the current Austrian champion and runner-up U14, were signed up. Flora Farkaslaki, the current U16 No. 1 in Hungary, will also be there.
Wolfgang Thiem, head of the Burgenland Tennis Academy, comments: “With this top line-up in the 15-19 age group, with this good quality as a basis, an important role model effect is guaranteed for the young Burgenland junior players in the U14 age group, who can train and develop together with the current top players. Without the establishment of the Burgenland Tennis Academy, where everything for training, fitness, nutrition and schooling is available under one roof in the best possible way, and the support of the province of Burgenland, such a model for young talent would be unthinkable”.
The BTV covers the entire youth sector from north to south with a uniform sporting guideline, coordinated by the sporting director of the academy, Wolfgang Thiem. “The Burgenland Tennis Academy is a pilot project that has never existed in Austria before. We work with the U14s twice a week. The remaining training sessions are carried out by the base coaches in the clubs. A total of 6 coaches have been hired for this,” said Anton Beretzki, managing director of Sport Burgenland GmbH.
All players at the tennis academy have access to professional tournament support, which was previously not possible. The cooperation model with BSSM Oberschützen is highly professional and opens up completely new dimensions in training to become a tennis professional. “The infrastructure at the Sporthotel Kurz, which is used as a training facility and accommodation, is unique in a national comparison. Approximately 500,000 euros were invested in new surfaces of the currently most innovative technology ‘Rebound Ace’ indoor. A new players’ lounge is reminiscent of the ambience of major tournaments and allows the players to regenerate ideally between sessions, but also to strengthen team spirit,” emphasised Günter Kurz, President of the Burgenland Tennis Association (BTV).
For Provincial Councillor Heinrich Dorner, tennis is one of the most popular sports in Burgenland: “This tennis academy builds on structures that are already functioning well. Our goal is to continue working in this area in order to be able to be a stage for tennis internationally as well. Overall, we are on a very good path to becoming the No. 1 sports country in tennis here as well. My thanks go to the BTV and Sport Burgenland GmbH, who have cooperated extremely professionally here together.”