The sixth annual friendly Interschool Challenge Match for the ‘Cahill Cup’ was contested between Nagambie Primary School junior tennis players and a squad from Avenel Primary School on Wednesday, November 29 at the Nagambie Tennis Club courts.
Despite the 35°C heat the young tennis enthusiasts played five sets of tennis and at the end of the tournament Nagambie Primary School principal Rob French and competition organiser Norm Cahill spoke on the playing standard, good sportsmanship and court manners, and overall performances of the two schools’ competitors.
Mr French said the players showed fabulous talent and he thought it was the happiest Cahill Cup.
He gave special thanks to Mr Cahill for encouraging the young players from many schools and clubs to keep on playing tennis as a great activity.
Eighty-six-year-old Mr Cahill has been coaching the district school children for many years and he founded the Cahill Cup interschool tennis competition as an incentive to encourage school children to try to lift their game each season and take up tennis as a lifetime recreational sport.
Nagambie Primary School fielded a C-grade set of games, with Charlotte Palmer winning that separate school competition.
Nagambie Primary School were victors of the 2017 Interschool challenge tournament. They were presented with the Cahill Cup and individual medallions and certificates for their tennis prowess and to remember the primary school sport they played in 2017.
Mr Cahill spoke to players after the games and said tennis is a lifetime game and it can be started early.
He introduced Bert Kearney, former Victorian Country singles and doubles champion of the Goulburn Valley, undisputed Victorian Singles Champion — who played for Australia in France, Wimbledon, United States and in senior competitions — and travelled overseas and met many good sporting people around the world through tennis.
Bert Kearney congratulated the players on their prowess and said it was great seeing young players enjoying themselves and improve on the courts. ‘‘Tennis is a wonderful game and Norm and I learned a lot from the game,’’ he said.
‘‘If you respect one another, play tennis, don’t smoke or drink alcohol, you’ll live a good life.’’
He also said he got more out of the game than what he put into it.
He presented Lexie Kleinig from Nagambie Primary School and Blake Ezard from Avenel Primary School with the joint best and fairest player award.
Mr French thanked Mr Cahill for coaching the children this year and Avenel Primary School for participating in the competition.
— Diane Grant