Learning the essentials of tennis
Six senior classes from Raureka Primary School and three from Ebbett Park School have been learning the essentials — forehand, backhand and volley — to make it on the tennis court.
“Schools have loved it and people passing by have given positive feedback also,” says Raureka Community Trust (RCT) treasurer Simon Cowan.
This Friday they will have the chance to show off their skills and find the best class, Simon says.
Simon has based the Off the Box tennis programme on what Tennis Eastern and Tennis NZ run, teaching racquet and ball skills and essential tennis strokes. Funding from Te Puni Ko¯ kiri earmarked for the Raureka Community Trust to provide youth initiatives and community awareness has enabled the hiring of professional coach Craig Giddy, with Simon as volunteer helper, to put the classes through their paces — a lesson a week for each school for the past four weeks. The funding is also enabling a free club night to start up on Thursday, September 20 in the former Westend Club.
“The club has passed custodianship over to the Raureka Community Trust. It will be mainly for juniors to play games and receive coaching support. We are hopeful the school kids from the programme will come along and use the free racquets and balls,” Simon says.
The three Oliphant Rd tennis courts will be split into 12 mini courts for this Friday’s competition — each class will play each other in a 10-minute match, stopping at the sound of a bell.
“Each class has one bye round where they can have a free icecream and subject to approval from the RCT trustees, choose an item from the koha shed on site,” Simon says.
There will be 12 scorers presiding over the mini courts recording the three rally wins on the cards provided.
“A key point is balls need to be hit softly to stay in play. “Swinging and hitting hard will put the ball out and is dangerous.”
At the end of 10 minutes the runner collects the cards, takes them to the collator and drops off the new cards to the scorers.
“After round nine everyone gathers around the pavilion to announce the winners and present the prizes and learn opportunities available for the people in Raureka to engage in their community,” Simon says.
■ Tennis competition, Friday, September 14, 10am-noon, 809 Oliphant Rd.
Ebbett Park School students practise their tennis moves.