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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Teams’ tennis makes strong return in Hunter

Tennis clubs across Lake Macquarie and Newcastle have made a long-awaited return to team-based competition with the introduction of a new interclub series – the Lake Macquarie & Newcastle Interclub Challenge.

Led by local head coaches Matt Abbott (Total Tennis Mount Hutton) and Keith Williams (Lake Macquarie Tennis Centre), the series will see both junior and adult outfits vying for champion club status in a round-robin format.

With tennis experiencing a strong uptake of players during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the socially distanced nature of the game, team-based initiatives are providing further opportunities for player development and an alternative to traditional winter code sports.

“It’s fantastic to see our local tennis community coming together to drive more team-based play,” Tennis NSW’s regional manager (Central NSW) Andrew Yapp said of the challenge.

“The potential for tennis to flourish as a team sport is being realised.

“We congratulate our proactive clubs and coaches in the development of the Lake Macquarie & Newcastle Interclub Challenge.”

Abbott was the key driver behind the concept of the series.

“Players in our region, both junior and senior, have been keen to play more team tennis,” he explained.

“We’re all very excited to combine as clubs to allow our players to have new opportunities to play and develop their skills in a series aimed to be a bridge between normal club tennis and ranking tournaments.”

The Lake Macquarie & Newcastle Interclub Challenge opened with the first round on Saturday 15 May.

Clubs involved included Total Tennis Mount Hutton, Lake Macquarie Tennis Centre, Tennis Central – Belmont, Caves Beach, Michael Mills Tennis Coaching – Bar Beach and University of Newcastle Tennis Club.

Interested players can contact these organisations directly or their local club or coach for more information on playing opportunities.

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