Victory School student Mehmo Mo during her introduction to tennis last week. Photo: Jonty Dine.

First-time tennis players come up aces

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Though Thailand is somewhat of a tennis hot spot, 11-year-old Mehmo Mo had never touched a racquet until moving to New Zealand.

The Victory School student was introduced to the game last week through the ‘Hot Shots’ programme.

Mehmo says once she got into the swing of things and started to hit the ball, she loved it.

“It was really fun.”

She says she hopes to continue playing tennis with her friends.

Mehmo is just one of hundreds of young students around the region being introduced to the game through the Nelson Bays Tennis Association initiative.

Tennis Hot Shots is the national starter programme for New Zealand children aged 5-12.

The classes use a ‘learning through play’ approach integrated with the school physical education curriculum to develop each child’s basic ball skills – hitting, throwing, catching, and exercise.

The NBS-sponsored programme utilises smaller courts, shorter racquets and softer balls so that kids can play a proper game of tennis from the moment they step on court.

Coach Ash Calder says their aim is to develop young players early.

“We try to capture the kids within the schools into the club programmes.”

Ash has been running sessions for five years at Victory, Hampden St, Auckland Point, St Joseph’s and Nelson Central Primary Schools.

“It’s an awesome programme and the kids just love it.”

For more info contact Ali at Nelson Bays Tennis.