Live Better

Second Serve

Medibank's Second Serve encourages people to donate their second-hand tennis racquets.

In a time when toys are second-hand news before the day is out, second-hand anything has somewhat lost its place in the cycle of childhood. The joy of passing down a beloved possession for another lifetime of enjoyment has largely disappeared – hand-me-downs are just no longer that handy.

So, Medibank has decided it’s time to close the circle once more and pass down not just our tennis memories and backhand tips to the kids, but our racquets too.

As part of our overarching goal of creating a healthier nation, we’re encouraging you to take your old racquet to your local Medibank store, and leave it in one of the donation bins provided. It will then be distributed among the local tennis communities, and your tennis legacy (however humble) will be passed on.

“Medibank has decided it’s time to pass down not just our tennis memories and backhand tips to the kids, but our racquets too.”

As an official partner of the Australian Open, Medibank is bringing tennis back into the life of ordinary Australians. A wildly popular sport in the ‘80s and ‘90s, tennis has dropped out of suburban life for many, and now resides mostly on our TV sets, with the international televised circuit becoming our only taste of this much loved game.

Second Serve has a familiar face fronting the campaign, Aussie tennis star Thanasi Kokkinakis. Thanasi burst onto the scene in 2013, when at just 17 he reached two junior grand slam singles finals at the 2013 Australian Open and 2013 US Open. Currently world number 76, Thanasi represents a new generation of tennis legends.

As a player who had his first hit at age eight with older brother Panayoti, we have no doubt Thanasi’s racquet has quite a few stories to tell. Who knows, maybe your racket will go to creating the next Australian star.

According to a Monash University study, tennis participation rates among youth over the past 10 years has declined by 63%. It’s not hard to understand why: the small screens of smartphones, computers, televisions, and video games have swept Australian kids off their feet and back indoors. Simply put, kids just don’t play outside anymore.

Childhood obesity is not becoming a problem in Australia – it is a problem. If weight gain continues at current levels, by 2025, close to a third of all children will be overweight or obese. But there’s more to outdoor play than a child’s weight: co-ordination, friendly competition, and the development of lateral problem solving skills are also developments in their young mind and bodies that they will carry through life.

Second Serve stories

“My first tennis racquet was pink and purple. A little too big at the start, and much too small at the end, it saw me through boisterous games with the neighbourhood kids, shy beginnings on the local courts, and the odd sibling conflict over the head.

“And yet, despite the many games it accompanied me in – mostly losses, if I’m honest – not a single string is broken. The paint is faded but unchipped. The handle still has its original grip. Despite its durability, however, it has met a premature demise, waiting sadly in my dusty garage for another hit. (One that is looking fairly unlikely.)

“My tennis years are behind me, left in a time when extra-curricular activities and weekend sport dominated play. Sport for me these days, like many, takes place in an air-conditioned gym before or after work, or any other opportunity that presents itself.”

– Kat, Melbourne

Learn more about Second Serve and find out where you can drop off your pre-loved racquet.


Listen now for advice on kids and sport with Todd Woodbridge.

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