Coaches bring home gold medals

Coastal News - - Front Page -

Shan­non Paki (who runs the ju­nior ten­nis coach­ing) and Rita Paczian (who runs all adult and pri­vate coach­ing at Whanga­mata) won five gold medals be­tween them at the Na­tional Ten­nis Se­niors (over 45s) Cham­pi­onships held in Lower Hutt re­cently.

Shan­non is the na­tional cham­pion in men’s 40+ in sin­gles, dou­bles and mixed dou­bles (his part­ner was Rita) and Rita won the women’s 50+ sin­gles, dou­bles and the 40+ mixed.

“I didn’t lose a sin­gle match but sadly I had to for­feit the sin­gles medal be­cause I had an emer­gency back home in Tairua and had to leave be­fore the fi­nal day,” Rita said.

Both travel the Coro­man­del and be­yond, bring­ing the joy of ten­nis to young and old.

Rita, who used to play ta­ble ten­nis at rep­re­sen­ta­tive level, turned to ten­nis when in her 40s. She is now a pro­fes­sional coach who teaches any­one who wants pri­vate lessons and in Whanga­mata she holds fun ses­sions, coach­ing adults be­tween 4pm and 6pm on Fri­days.

Thames-based Shan­non has been play­ing ten­nis since pri­mary school days.

“My Nana used to run ten­nis in Thames and us kids were made to play to keep us out of trou­ble!” he said.

“My kids now play as well. I didn’t play com­pet­i­tively — it was more for en­joy­ment.”

Now, though, ten­nis pretty much con­sumes his life as he teaches ten­nis pri­vately and at var­i­ous clubs around the Coro­man­del.

As a child, Shan­non was asth­matic and found that play­ing the sport helped his breath­ing — “I would rec­om­mend other asth­mat­ics give it a go!” he said.

■ Adult ten­nis coach­ing with Rita is held at the Whanga­mata Com­bined Sports Club on Fri­days from 4-6pm. ■ Ju­nior ten­nis coach­ing with Shan­non is held at the Whanga­mata Com­bined Sports Club, rain or shine, on Satur­days in two groups be­tween 1pm and 4pm.

LEARN­ERS: Shan­non Paki is pic­tured with his group of young Satur­day ses­sion play­ers.

GOLD MEDAL­LISTS: Rita Paczian and Shan­non Paki with their Na­tional Se­niors medals.

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