Twenty-four boys and girls (aged five to 15) participated in the fifth annual Penticton Rogers Rookie Tour tennis tourney.
The Rogers Rookie Tour event is designed to provide an entry experience to competitive tennis with a multiple match (minimum of three matches) format and adjusted court size and equipment for younger age categories creating a fun, positive first experience. The tournament in Penticton is the culmination of school programs and eight weeks of city and club spring tennis programs resulting in many players who just started playing tennis in April.
Winning the girls’ 10 singles was Kayley Davies from Naramate, while the winner on the boys side is Aron Pilbart, who defeated Adam Heck. In the boys/girls 12 singles, Pierre Holmes won, while Ross Millar was the finalist.
The tournament differed from last year as there were more younger competitors, which Robert Bettauer, who had been heavily involved in the tournament in the past said is very positive. Combined with city programs, participant numbers are the largest they have been in five years.
“The efforts we’ve made and the response from the community has been excellent,” said Bettauer, whose wife Jo-Anne, took over organizing this year’s event with the help of Van Bettauer and Zhenya Chuyeva. “There is a really good foundation of tennis development.”
The program will continue to succeed with a staff led by Chuyeva and support from the Penticton Yacht & Tennis Club for hosting.
“The real mark of success is that all this continues,” said Bettauer.