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Tennis lovers ... Getting ready for next Saturday's Love Tennis open day at the Chelmer St grass courts are North Otago Tennis committee members (from left) Peter Simpson, Mackenzie Phillips, Josh Dalziel, Robin Jamieson and Tony Read. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

The summer tennis season is fast approaching, and North Otago Tennis is serving up an ace opportunity for people to get involved.

Next Saturday, North Otago Tennis is hosting a Love Tennis open day at the Chelmer St grass courts, part of a nationwide initiative to encourage more people to pick up a racket and learn about the great social environment tennis clubs provide. It is the second year North Otago Tennis has taking part.

President Josh Dalziel said it was a great social event for the organisation – there would be free coaching, spot prizes, and a barbecue – and it was a good opportunity for people to sign up for the coming season.

“It’s a have-a-go, sign up, social opening … and hopefully we’ll attract more people to the sport,” Dalziel said.

Professional coach Steve Dries and club members would be on hand to provide assistance, or have a hit with keen players, and the event was open for all ages, from juniors to masters.

“Anyone who’s interested in tennis … come on down.”

North Otago Tennis had been working on introducing more programmes for juniors, and last year’s Love Tennis open day resulted in an influx of new players signing up. More than 100 junior players took part in North Otago Tennis’ programmes last year, and about 70 players competed in the senior Thursday night competition.

This year, junior tennis starts on October 20, and the senior competition on October 28.

Tennis Otago’s senior interclub competition gets under way in Dunedin this weekend, and North Otago has entered two teams. Last year, North Otago entered one team in division one, but due to good interest a division two team had also been entered .

Dalziel said it was a good opportunity for senior players who wanted to play at a higher level and against a wider variety of players, and he expected North Otago to be competitive in both grades.

North Otago masters tennis also had a busy programme ahead, starting with a tournament in Oamaru at Labour Weekend.

Anyone wanting more information about tennis in North Otago should contact Robin Jamieson (juniors) on 272312313 or Dalziel (seniors) on 0274034091.