Malcolm Kajer, the Cook Islands tennis coach since 1989, is passionately involved in the sport: “The open day session was a great success,” he says.
“It’s good to see excited new faces and, hopefully, the kids will continue attending.”
Kajer has proudly seen the large volume of kids who partake in the sport, also succeed throughout their student years at school, balancing tennis and education.
“Tennis keeps our youngsters occupied, particularly after school.
“Many kids who are involved in tennis have done well academically, they spend time on the tennis courts keeping fit physically and mentally, and this helps keep them out of mischief or trouble.”
“Tennis is a specialised sport, you spend a lot of time on the court to practise, it’s a good way to keep the kids occupied after school, a good balance to compliment study,” he says.
CITC Key Brands Manager George George said it was overwhelming to see the energised kids and motivating parents also be on hand to encourage and lend a hand with the morning’s activities.
“We also have our own young tennis players who are great role models for the kids; such as Maka Maui who is playing exceptionally well in New Zealand, having being coached right here on our home ground,” says George.
Also on the day, it was an emotional milestone for the Tennis Cook Islands Junior committee for the official opening of their water fountain.
This initiative came together after parents noticed the lack of clean drinking water and kids drinking straight from the unfiltered tap on site, and an additional safety hazard with little children running across to the Golf Club on the road to drink clean water.
The Ministry of Health has conducted weekly testing of the fountain's water quality, and as of the last testing date on 30 January 2019, the water is safe to drink.
Tennis Cook Islands are extremely grateful to major sponsor CITC, Gaye Whitta, George George and team, and supporting sponsors Raro Plumbing, Prime Solutions, the Baudinet family, and Rongohiva who all contributed to the water fountain effort.
More photos later this week.