Tennis fun serves up the action
GYMPIE junior tennis player Matt Bothams nominates Roger Federer as his favourite player and hopes one day to be able to hit the ball around the court like his idol.
Bothams took another step towards realising his dream yesterday at the Reg English Tennis Centre as one of 25 juniors taking part in a Holiday Fun Tournament.
The tournament was organised by Gympie and District Tennis Association coaches Brett Cottrill and Matthew Watkins.
All ages took part – right from the youngest of players learning the skills through to advanced players.
While beginners focused on learning the basics of the game with Cottrill and Watkins, older players took part in a round robin competition to decide whose form was superior on the day.
Cottrill said he was pleased with the level of participation.
“We had a few last-minute calls from players wanting to take part, so that was encouraging,” he said.
The tennis coach, who has been a familiar face at the Reg English Tennis Centre for many years, said he was particularly happy to see so many kids starting off in the game.
“We have them playing with decompressed balls to give them greater control, and they are taking part in modified games,” he said.
“It gives the kids a chance to learn how to control the ball.”
Another junior enjoying the day was Ben Kidd, 8.
After hitting the ball around at school, the tennis junior decided to sign up for the fun holiday tournament and test his skills .
“I am going to play Friday as well because it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
While most juniors prefer to slam away a well-timed forehand for a winner, Kidd said his favourite shot was a smash.
“I think it’s my best shot and I try to him them when I can,” he said.
Yesterday’s activities at the Reg English Tennis Centre also proved good viewing for the handful of spectators to watch from the sidelines.
Budding players who missed out can still get involved.
A second day is planned tomorrow.
Cottrill encouraged anyone interested in signing up to do so today.
“We would like to see some more kids take part,” he said.
Cottrill can be contacted on 0418 715 148 for further information.