Tennis team off to X-mas tournament in NZ

Friday December 14, 2018 Written by Published in Other Sports
Maka Maui. 18121339 Maka Maui. 18121339

A thirteen member Cook Islands tennis team will leave the country today for the Auckland X-mas Tournament which will be held from December 17 to 22.

The annual tournament will feature competitions in the Under-10, U12 and U14 age groups.

National tennis head coach Malcolm Kajer said the team, which will include members from the national development squad, had been preparing all year.

“As of the last week, training has got more intense. The kids have been training three hours a day during the week and also three hours on Saturday,” Kajer said.

“Training has involved physical work, technical and lot of mental work on tactics and strategy.”

With the success that the junior team achieved in the April-May tournament in Auckland, Kajer said they were hoping for good results.

In that tournament, the national side won the U10 girls title, U12s girls singles and doubles and numerous other players managed ranking positions.

“This will be good test for some of our U11 and U13 players who will be moving up an age group for the first time. Personally, I want to see if they can make an impact in their new age groups,” Kajer said.

Maka Maui, who is the number one 12-year-old player in the Pacific, will join the team from Australia. He is currently in Melbourne with the Pacific All-stars team playing in the 12 and under Australian Nationals.

“As he finishes on December 16, he will arrive late on that day to Auckland to play in the Auckland tournament the very next morning,” Kajer said.

“Maka has also been selected to play in the New Zealand 12 and under Nationals in Christchurch from January 19 to 23 where I will accompany him as I have been selected to coach the team.

“With good preparation he has had, we should expect some excellent results from Maka.”

Kajer thanked all the sponsors and supporters for backing the sport this season.

“Thanks to Bluesky Cook Islands, Primefoods, Tupapa Maraerenga Sports Club and all staff involved in the Zumba fundraiser, ANZ bank, Kevin Cook and Richard Browne for the assistance towards Maka in his travels and to Tennis Cook Islands and most of all, to our hard working junior committee, who have done a wonderful job in fundraising this year.”

            - Rashneel Kumar

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