Former WTA player Louise Pleming knows the value of positivity and mental strength to tennis success.
These days, TA high-performance coach Pleming is applying her coaching skills to touch lives.
Pleming, a tennis commentator who is back at SW19 covering Wimbledon this month, is a founder and driving force behind Rally4Ever, an Australian-registered charitable foundation that fosters greater community connection through physical activity.
Rally4Ever’s tennis programs in Pleming’s native Australia have helped homeless, disadvantaged and at-risk communities using tennis to help form relationships, create a positive support network and connect players to mental and physical health aid.
Rally4Ever aims to offer aid and hope to people suffering from depression, loneliness and isolation in the aftermath of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We don’t judge,” Pleming said. “We’ve got young people that have had real breakdowns, older people that are just feeling very isolated.
“They are forming friendships and now go out and play tennis together. That’s what it’s all about.”
The idea Rally4Ever was inspired by Pleming’s personal experience that was transformative. A homeless man named Brian recognized the tennis analyst from her work at the Australian Open and asked her to hit with him.
“A gentleman by the name of Brian approached me and said: ‘I know who you are, would you play tennis with me?’” Pleming told Tennis Australia. “So a week later I met Brian, who had been living on the streets for quite a few years, and we played tennis. I saw an incredible shift in his mentality through the benefits of playing tennis and having that human connection. It’s been a relationship that has grown and I continue to play tennis with him.”
Last month, Dr. Val Kumar, working with Rally4Ever, helped restore Brian’s smile–bringing big smiles to the faces of his friends at Rally4Ever.
To donate to Rally4Ever’s efforts to establish national tennis and fitness programs please visit this donation link. To learn more on Rally4Ever’s programs click here.