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BCTA plans youth tennis events

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The new youth tennis committee of the BCTA met Friday at Jumpin’ Java in Shallotte. It agreed the purpose would be to provide lots of opportunities for youth 18 and under to play tennis in Brunswick County. 

“There are several ways that we are going to do this,” said Karen Holbrook.

“First, we will sponsor four tournaments annually. 

“Second, we will support the formation of USTA Jr. tennis teams that will compete in the Wilmington league, just as many of the adult tennis players in the county have joined the USTA and compete in USTA team tennis against Wilmington teams. 

“Third, we will encourage high school students to play on the youth tennis ladder that Phil Edwards started. If a coordinator and enough coaches can be found, we will revive the middle school tennis and the summer QuickStart program.”

The first tournament will be Feb. 12 at the Ocean Isle Beach Tennis Center. Sut Ahuja, Dave Gongora, Lori Watson and Susan Taylor are the organizers.  

“We hope to draw kids of all ages and abilities to the tournament,” Holbrook said. “We will have special QuickStart courts set up for younger kids. A round-robin format will offer lots of opportunities for high school and middle school students to play. We will provide hot drinks and pastries in the morning and pizza at lunchtime.” 

The second tournament is scheduled for May 7 at St. James. Liz Beirne, the assistant tennis pro at St. James, will help get this tournament organized.

“In March, we plan to sponsor USTA Jr. Tennis night at several locations in the county,” Holbrook said. “This will be an opportunity to play a little tennis, eat pizza and learn about USTA Jr. Team Tennis. This is an annual event sponsored by the USTA, during which kids can join the USTA at discounted rates.”

The next meeting of the committee will be at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 7 at Jumpin’ Java.