Season to continue after closed champs

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Covid-19 has served up a few challenges to North Otago Tennis this season.

Many of the region’s best players are set to compete in the North Otago Closed this weekend on the grass courts in Chelmer St.

Men’s and women’s singles and doubles will be played both days, as well as mixed doubles on Sunday. There will also be singles and doubles matches for the juniors.

‘‘The grass courts will be pretty jam-packed at the weekend, all going well,’’ North Otago Tennis president Josh Dalziel said.

The tournament usually marks the end of the season but since this was the only weekend that suited, junior and senior interclub competitions will continue for a few weeks.

‘‘We’ll have a bit of a prizegiving on the Sunday just to recognise the efforts that have gone in for the season and recognise the achievers throughout the year.’’

Covid-19 gathering limitations meant vaccine passes were required for all players and spectators. Luckily, tennis could be played outside in the open so people would be able to socially distance reasonably well, Dalziel said.

The pandemic —and rainy weather — had disrupted the season and caused a few challenges. Many events had to be cancelled at the last minute and Covid-related mandates meant a few players left the club.

‘‘Every sport’s in the same boat as ours,’’ Dalziel said.

‘‘It’s quite difficult to manage week to week when you don’t really know specifically how many players you’ve got turning up.

‘‘We’ve had to be pretty flexible this year, which is good, but it’s probably just meant there hasn’t been the same sort of structure on the senior side as what we’re used to but the junior side has gone really well.’’

Dalziel said while it was frustrating to cancel events when so much effort had gone into organising them, players and the community were pretty understanding.