Sunday, June 23, 2024
June 23, 2024

Tennis culture thrives on courts, at school

By MARGARET FISHER

FOR Salt Spring Tennis Association

It’s been a year of growth and success for junior tennis on Salt Spring Island with our students achieving impressive results under the tutelage of coach Mukul Karthikeyan.

Salt Spring hosted the B.C. 2-stars Boys U16 and U18 event at the indoor courts on April 21 and 22.

Scott Goddard, Nate Kray-Gibson and Gabriel Gordon all competed hard against competition from Vancouver and Victoria, but went down in the first round of tough competition. Scott and Nate recovered well, winning the consolation events in their respective age groups.

These events are key in providing our local players a chance to compete on home turf, saving travel expenses and time. The Salt Spring Tennis Association (SSTA) hopes to increase events for the younger cohort coming up through coach Karthikeyan’s tennis training sessions.

On the heels of this local tournament, the newly created Gulf Islands Secondary School (GISS) tennis team sent a strong contingent of players to the mid-island tournament held at Brentwood College on April 22. This nascent team claimed third place out of five school teams. Not only did the students play great tennis but they also comported themselves well both on and off the courts. Special thanks to our own Marj Blackwood, Blair Carley and John Lapointe for assisting with coaching during this event.

Individual successes include Fiona Huang, at age 9, being the youngest player ever to represent B.C. at the Junior Nationals; Sidney Bush, 7, competing in the red ball rookie tour events; Tao Prihoda, 9, playing in rising star tourneys; Kray-Gibson and Gordon competing in 2-, 3- and 3.5-star events; Goddard, Filbert Zhang and Jason Fan competing in the selection series and provincials; and Elyse Walsh, Rio Lloyd-Karr, Sacha Miller, Katya Miller, Fionn Byrne and Renee Hayden helping the high school team move toward the island finals.

All these young players have worked hard on their tennis and we congratulate them, their families and their coaches on these outstanding results. The association also thanks the many SSTA members who have donated generously to assist with court and coaching fees.

See saltspringtennis.ca for more information.

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