From Aleppo to Liverpool: A love of tennis helping to build a new life in Australia


Since arriving in Australia from Syria, Ashod Paloulian has been pursuing his dream of becoming a professional tennis coach, and according to Tennis Australia he has the drive, commitment and skills to make it a reality.

At 33 years of age, Ashod Paloulian has witnessed things he wishes he hadn't.  But the one gift he's brought with him from Syria is now paving the way to a new life in Australia - a love of tennis. 

Since arriving as a refugee late last year, Ashod has completed a Tennis Australia three-day Community Coaching course. He's already planning to put that experience to good use in Liverpool in Sydney's south west. 

"We are looking to do some free classes for the refugees, they'll come," he told SBS World News.

His wife Sarin is expecting the couple's third child in December, a new sibling for seven-year-old son Aram, and three-year-old Serena. 

His daughter named, unsurprisingly, after tennis legend Serena Williams. 

Ashod Paloulian
Ashod Paloulian is finally turning his dream into reality.
SBS World News

Tennis isn't just the sport he loves.  It also underpins his outlook on life. 

"This is my passion, I started playing tennis aged seven. You must fight for every point, if you lose you must try again." 

There is no 'Plan B' for Ashod. He intends to build his own tennis coaching business and is ready to do whatever it takes to succeed. 

Tennis Australia was informed about his love of the sport by 'Settlement Services International' which helps new migrants and refugees settle into life in Australia. 

The Tennis NSW Coach Development Coordinator Sam Bradshaw says coaches like Ashod help fulfill an important role in developing the sport.  

"We need qualified coaches in the right areas to ensure the growth of the game," he told SBS World News. 

Ashod Paloulian
From left: Ben Benazzouz from Settlement Services International, Ashod Paloulian and Sam Bradshaw from Tennis NSW.
SBS World News


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