Wimmera Regional Tennis team travels to Wodonga for state competition

EXCITED: Kirby Knight, Dylan Emmerson and Sophie De Wit will be competing for Wimmera in Wodonga at the weekend. Picture: SEAN WALES
EXCITED: Kirby Knight, Dylan Emmerson and Sophie De Wit will be competing for Wimmera in Wodonga at the weekend. Picture: SEAN WALES

COMPETITION will be tough in Wodonga at the weekend as Victoria’s best tennis players travel to the state’s border for the Inter-regional Country Victoria Championships. 

A Wimmera team of 26 will head to the event, which will be the 62nd instalment of the competition. 

Team manager Marita Punchard said she was looking forward to seeing players of all ages compete over the weekend. 

“You do see some fantastic tennis across the weekend,” she said.

“It’s great that there’s such a wide variety of age groups, from 12 and under to 50 plus. Everyone just goes along and supports everyone. There is a fantastic team spirit across the weekend.”

Ms Punchard said the Wimmera team, which has representatives in every age group, would test some of the better players in the state. 

“I think the fact it is in Wodonga with five hours travel is a bit far for some people, but we are still taking a reasonably strong team,” she said. 

“We go for participation in a big way. It’s an opportunity for the Wimmera players to play against some of the best in the region.

“I’m very much a participation manager and giving them an opportunity to play in such a big tournament with over 250 people is great.”

Ms Punchard said teams from the Wimmera are always recognised as fair competitors. 

“The Wimmera teams are always known for their great nature on the court and their great sportsmanship, and we would like to continue that this year,” she said. 

Sophie De Wit and Kirby Knight will both be competing in the under-25s girls singles competition. 

They also competed last year and are looking forward to this year’s instalment. 

“It’s a good social event, everyone has a lot of fun,” De Wit said.

“It’s a good opportunity to test yourself against the state’s best tennis players.”

Knight said: “The competition gives you a chance to play with people you don’t often get to.”

Nine of the 11 tennis regions in Victoria will be represented at the competition, with Barwon again one of the favourites. 

For the past two years, teams representing Wimmera Regional Tennis have finished in sixth place. 

Competitors at last year’s event in Swan Hill had to battle it out in 38 degree heat, with temperatures again expected to reach uncomfortable highs at the weekend in Wodonga. 

Competition starts on Friday and will continue through to Sunday.