Having a smashing time at Hume Tennis Club gala day

Serving up a storm: Ben Thornley of Yass playing on Sunday, about to send down another rocket serve. Photo: Zac Lowe.
Serving up a storm: Ben Thornley of Yass playing on Sunday, about to send down another rocket serve. Photo: Zac Lowe.

The Hume Tennis Club was abuzz with activity on Sunday, as nearly 70 children took to the courts for the second annual Junior League Tennis Gala Day. 

The event, which was founded last year by Colin Maher, was designed to introduce children and teenagers to competitive tennis in a no-pressure, fun environment. 

The day started with the opening ceremony at 8:45am, followed by the first round of play fifteen minutes later. 

Teams from five towns in the local area, including Yass, Tumut, Young, Goulburn, and Cootamundra took part. 

Yass coach David Thornley said that the event gave the children something more than just match experience. 

“There was a bit of a gap in the program for younger players that hadn’t started playing in the Junior Development Series [JDS], which is a little more advanced than what’s here,” Thornley said. 

“This is sort of a stepping stone for kids to start learning to play in a competition and starting to score.” 

The day’s play was divided into five rounds, during which four of the five teams present would play against each other and one would sit out in a bye. 

These rounds consisted of several singles and doubles matches, which were 11 minutes long. 

The victor was the player or team who had accrued the most points when the whistle was blown, and points were allocated depending on what the scoreline of the match looked like at the end. 

Between matches, most of the players sat on the side of the court and chatted with each other, regardless of whether they were opponents or teammates. 

Thornley explained that this was another goal of the competition. 

“It’s developed friendships for the kids,” he said. 

“Which is another important part of their tennis development, that they meet other kids and [develop] friendships as well.”

Thornley was extremely happy with how the event played out. 

“It’s been fantastic today,” he said. “Really, really good … it’s been well-supported by parents, [and] it’s continuing to grow.

“There’s probably a few more kids this year, getting involved [as well].”