Sport

Just living the Open dream

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January 24, 2018

A group of aspiring Tallygaroopna and Undera tennis players had a hit at Melbourne Park on Monday.

Coach Cal Curtis believes tennis boasts a strong presence in the towns on the outskirts of Shepparton.

And the enthusiasm of the younger generation about the sport was on show on Monday when Curtis took a group of players from Tallygaroopna and Undera to the Australian Open.

The nine juniors were thrilled to make their way on to Showcourt Three to be put through their paces.

Curtis said parents and children alike enjoyed the experience, as a crowd watched on.

‘‘When we were down there the kids got their shirts and hats and spent 25 minutes to half-an-hour on court,’’ he said.

‘‘They met some of the players, and the parents loved it, some took time off work, so I’m really thankful.’’

Curtis organised the opportunity for players to head to the grand slam seven weeks in advance, helped by Tennis Victoria Country north-east participation leader Sam Condon.

While plenty of clubs from across the state were present, Tallygaroopna and Undera were the only clubs from the Goulburn Valley represented.

With the clinic only a small part of the day, the region’s talents found a future to aspire to as they watched some of the world’s best during a busy day.

They will return to a strong standard of competition with Curtis saying tennis still has its place as one of the major summer sports.

‘‘People say tennis is dying, but I don’t understand,’’ he said.

‘‘Tennis in general at Tally is really good, there’s a really great community getting behind it.

‘‘It’s a great place to play tennis, we’ve got new courts, we play on the netball courts which is great and at Undera they’ve got new courts coming soon, so they’re both small clubs but they’re coming along nicely.’’

Plenty of juniors have had a taste of elite sport recently, with Mooroopna cricketers taking to the field during lunch at the Boxing Day Test.

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