Chel­tenham Community tour­ney a suc­cess

Times Chronicle - - FOOTBALLPREVIEWS - By Mike Prince

Over the course of the past four years, the Friends of Chel­tenham Community Tennis ( FoCCTF has had its ju­niors’ tennis tour­na­ment grow more and more each year, be­com­ing one of the most suc­cess­ful lo­cal tennis events in re­cent times.

And this year saw a bet­ter turnout than ever.

With the pro­ceeds sup­port­ing Chel­tenham High School’s tennis pro­gram and community player de­vel­op­ment, a con­tin­ued steady in­crease was seen in the fourth an­nual tour­na­ment, which was held on the high school’s tennis courts.

Started four years ago by a group of Chel­tenham par­ents as a means of sup­port­ing the high school’s boys’ and girls’ tennis pro­grams, the or­ga­niz­ers have since for­mally es­tab­lished them­selves and have been work­ing to pro­mote tennis in the community with their spring and sum­mer tour­na­ments, this one in­cluded.

The FoCCT is a mem­ber of the United States Tennis As­so­ci­a­tion, and the tour­na­ment draws par­tic­i­pants from across the Mid­dle States Re­gion.

Alex Jus­tini­ani, the head pro at Sea Colony Tennis in Bethany Beach, DE, trav­eled to Chel­tenham with six play­ers from the re­sort to par­tic­i­pate in last Fri­day and Satur­day’s event.

“The tour­na­ment play is a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for all lev­els of tennis,” Jus­tini­ani said. “This tour­na­ment was ex­tremely well run and the par­tic­i­pants had a great time play­ing and they learned a great deal. There were more USTA of­fi­cials at this tour­na­ment than we had ex­pe­ri­ence in the past and the boys learned about the rules of tennis as well as the fun­da­men­tals of tour­na­ment play.”

The fi­nal draw for this tour­na­ment saw 44 ju­niors par­tic­i­pate in four age di­vi­sions, in­clud­ing boys 12s, boys 14s, boys 16s and boys 18s. Play­ers trav­eled from kew York to Vir­ginia to par­tic­i­pate in the Chel­tenham tour­na­ment. And it was a Philadel­phia lo­cal who ended up win­ning one of the di­vi­sions.

Thomas Vernier of Me­rion Sta­tion won the boys 18s division, de­feat­ing Doylestown’s Grant Boyle 6-3, 2-6, 1-0 (10-3F. Lorenzo Ramos (Val­ley Cottage, kYF won the boys 16s divi- sion, James Flem­ing (Wilm­ing­ton, DEF won the boys 14s and nuinn Sny­der (Delran, kJF won the boys 12s.

“The suc­cess of the tour­na­ment con­tin­ues to grow, both in rep­u­ta­tion and size,” said Craig Rein­heimer, who helps to run the event. “While the tour­na­ment is listed as a dis­trictlevel event with the USTA, mean­ing that the fo­cus of the tour­na­ment is within the Philadel­phia area, I think the over­all suc­cess is at­trib­uted to the wide range of play­ers that continue to par­tic­i­pate. This diver­sity, both in skill and ge­o­graphic, af­ford play­ers the abil­ity to play com­peti­tors they nor­mally would not play at this level of com­pe­ti­tion.”

Rein­heimer said that they plan to

continue to work to grow the boys’ sanc­tioned tour­na­ment, specif­i­cally for the sum­mer tour­na­ment, while also plan­ning to en­hance the tour­na­ment by adding a girls’ dou­bles event as the tour­na­ment week­end co­in­cides with the week­end be­tween pre­sea­son and tennis sea­son for the girls.

“We will work to continue to grow both the spring and sum­mer tour­na­ments,” Rein­heimer said. “They are the back­bone of our fundrais­ing, but we also have plans to ex­pand the ser­vices that we of­fer in the community to en­cour­age more peo­ple in the Chel­tenham area to play tennis.”

This year’s tour­na­ment drew a num­ber of re­peat tour­na­ments, and fu­ture tour­na­ments should fully ex­pect to do the same, while bring­ing in more and more new tennis play­ers from all over the east coast.

The FoCCT’s tour­na­ment has de­vel­oped a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing a great event for ju­nior play­ers who are now ready for tour­na­ment play, and its rep­u­ta­tion should only continue to im­prove over the next four years as much if not more than it al­ready has over the past four.

The next Friends of Chel­tenham Community Tennis -unior Tour­na­ment will be held in spring, 2013. For more in­for­ma­tion about the Friends of Chel­tenham Community Tennis, please visit their web­site at www.tennis.focpe.org. For more in­for­ma­tion please contact Craig Rein­heimer at CraigR@tennis. focpe.org or Lori Sie­gal at LoriS@ tennis.focpe.org.

Mont­gomery Me­dia / BOB RAINES

Abing­ton line­men go through drills dur­ing pre­sea­son prac­tice.

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