Cheque not in the mail

Phil Shanahan with the Margaret Court Cup last year.
Phil Shanahan with the Margaret Court Cup last year.

MARGARET Court Cup director Phil Shanahan says he’s “shocked and disappointed” after Australia Post ended its 11-year association with the tournament.

In a blow to the tournament’s immediate future, Australia Post has withdrawn its major sponsorship for the annual event due to changes to its policy.

“They’ve gone in a different direction, which is pretty disappointing,” Shanahan said.

“We apparently didn’t tick the boxes.

“I was pretty shocked, to be honest, because they have been fantastic over the past 11 years.”

The hunt is now on for a new tournament sponsor.

“Margaret is down here next week, so we’ll sit down and see where we go from here,” Shanahan said.

“It’s great exposure, because you have kids all over the place running around with shirts that have the sponsor on it.

“It’s the biggest and most prestigious tournament in Australia at that time of year.”

Shanahan said the Margaret Court Cup may not be the only sporting event under the pump from Australia Post.

“I’m not sure what’s happening with the Stawell Gift, they’re sponsored by it too,” he said.

“It really hurts, particularly for regional areas and events.

“We help kids from overseas and developing nations get over here.”

Meanwhile24 of the Border’s best youngsters will head to Wagga on Sunday to defend the John Ferguson Cup.

Twelve boys and 12 girls, ranging from under-11 to under-17, will take on teams from Young, Griffith and Wagga.

Last year’s tournament was washed out, with Albury taking home the crown in 2012.

“It’s a great concept,” Shanahan said.

“There aren’t too many teams events around.

“John has been a great servant for almost 30 years and it’s great they honour his work with this tournament.

“We’ve got few missing with deb practice, footy and netball but we’ll still have a good team.”