Tennis fever hit Aitutaki

Friday October 04, 2019 Written by Published in Other Sports
From left, Tennis Cook Islands president Petero Okotai, player Maka Maui and head coach Malcolm Kajer at the Aitutaki Airport on Thursday last week.19100312 From left, Tennis Cook Islands president Petero Okotai, player Maka Maui and head coach Malcolm Kajer at the Aitutaki Airport on Thursday last week.19100312

There is a tennis boom in Aitutaki, says national head coach Malcolm Kajer.

 

The sport has been played on the island over the years but lately it has gained popularity amongst the people there.

On Thursday last week, Kajer visited the island to run a coaching clinic with interested players which included children.

“Aitutaki is going through a tennis boom at the moment and the club season which is starting soon has given the sport a major boost,” Kajer said.

“In the last couple of years, tennis hasn’t been so active like it has been in the past but there has always been some form of club competition held there. However this year, the sport has taken off at a large scale with seniors, juniors and veterans all getting together to play the sport. There is a big tennis fever over there.”

Kajer’s trip to Aitutaki was a result of a request from the tennis club on the island as well as an initiative from Tennis Cook Islands.  `

He said the main focus of his visit was to look at junior development.

About 50 children aged five to 14 years turned up at Vaipae Tennis Court to attend the coaching clinic.

“The aim of the clinic was to teach the kids basic techniques, hand eye coordination skills and to have a look at what needs to be done to help Aitutaki Tennis develop their juniors,” Kajer said.

“In terms of junior development, it will be great in future to try and develop local coaches there so they are able to pass on the knowledge to the upcoming junior players.”

Top local junior player Maka Maui, who hails from Aitutaki, accompanied Kajer.

“They were all fascinated with the level of skill Maka displayed over there. He is from the island and he is a success story in the sport, so it was quite inspiring for some of the upcoming players on the island to see him play there,” Kajer said.

Kajer also received support from Tennis Cook Islands president Petero Okotai who helped in the running of the coaching clinic.

The national federation also presented equipment to Aitutaki Tennis in the past as well as in this trip.

“The new Tennis Cook Islands committee is heavily in favour to try to branch out into outer islands.

“We thank Air Rarotonga for the sponsorship and the airfares and Aitutaki Tennis for the hospitality provided as well as Tennis Cook Islands for making this opportunity happen. We are looking forward to going back and doing courses with senior and junior players in the near future.”

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