16 January, 2024

Youngsters get taste of international tennis

Six juniors from Esk Tennis Club had a taste of playing on an international stage, having been invited to participate in the Brisbane International Tennis Tournament.

Esk Tennis Club juniors get the chance to mix it with the stars.
Esk Tennis Club juniors get the chance to mix it with the stars.

On January 2 the six kids - four from Esk and two from Toogoolawah - played for 10 minutes each on the show court, before letting the pros take over.

Esk Tennis Club president and coach Ian Myles said it was a thrill to see the 9- and 10-year-olds have this experience.

“All the kids had a ball and were beside themselves... they were excited and nervous and just all over the place to get to play on the big professional courts,” he said.

“Having my kids go down there and have a hit on a pro stage and getting a taste for that environment made me really excited, for me and for them.”

One of the juniors, Sasha, was also selected to do the coin toss for the Babos and Niskova match, and was allowed to keep the coin as a memento.

She also obtained an autograph from world-famous Rafael Nadal.

All kids were then treated to a tour of the Pat Rafter Arena.

The invite to participate was extended by Tennis Queensland, the governing body for Tennis Australia in Queensland, to allow Esk to demonstrate the junior tennis in the region.

Myles hopes it won’t be the last time either.

“We want to try to arrange to take as many kids as possible to the next Brisbane International, since kids get in for free during the first two days,” he said.

“I think it’s very important to have them get a taste of what pro tennis feels like.”

Esk Tennis Club is also celebrating its 130th anniversary this year, with many activities planned to take place throughout the year, including the Esk Open Day, a free social tennis gathering running in conjunction with the Australian Open.

Everyone is welcome to come down and have a hit, get some coaching, win prizes, and eat some BBQ food.

The Esk Tennis Club Open Day takes place at the club from 4pm to 6pm on January 28 and 29.


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