In conjunction with the 58th Merdeka Day celebration, a tennis tournament, specifically for kids aged 16 years and below, was organised. The matches were held at the tennis courts of Ipoh City Hall, the Youth and Sports Department Perak and YMCA Ipoh.
Held for the second consecutive year, the tournament is the brainchild of six local tennis coaches led by Anto James from Coach Anto Academy. The six felt that Perak, unlike states in the south, has very limited exposure to competitive tennis and as such the state has little to show in terms of tennis talents.
They took it upon themselves to bring the game to the state via a tournament for kids. The idea resulted in the Merdeka tournament which is into its second edition. Matches were held for two days running on Saturday, August 22 to Sunday, August 23.
Some 88 youthful players from Perak, Penang and Kedah participated in five categories for boys and girls. Winners walked away with medals, tennis rackets and certificates.
Nur Siti Eissya, 15, winner of the Girl’s Under-16 singles title told Ipoh Echo, “I’ve won many tournaments but winning this tournament is an achievement in itself.” She expressed her desire to represent the nation in world-class tournaments one day.
Normala Abdul Rashid, Head of the Sports Management and Development Division of Majlis Sukan Negeri (MSN) Perak and Dato’ Ahmad Jaafar, President of Perak Lawn Tennis Association gave away prizes to the winners.
The tournament was sanctioned by Perak Lawn Tennis Association and sponsored by Head while courts’ fees were paid for by MSN Perak.