By GREG WHITE
WESTSIDE Tennis Club reaches a landmark achievement today when play commences in the 25th annual Northern New South Wales Junior Tennis Tournament.
"Not many sports events can boast a silver anniversary," tennis director Allan Pade said proudly.
"A huge amount of work goes into running the event but the outcomes are worth it.
"The youngsters get a wonderful opportunity to test their skills and receive valuable experience."
More than 200 juniors have booked a berth in the round robin including an Australian representative.
"Daniel Nash will play in the Under-12s and will be a huge drawcard," Pade noted. "He's just competed in an Australian rep team touring Noumea and good judges rate him an outstanding talent."
A large number of state-ranked players will compete, endeavouring to improve their gradings.
Pade said the huge number of entries would force play to expand beyond Westside.
"Coffs Harbour and Sawtell clubs have been generous extending their facilities to help us out," he said. "It creates good feelings and a wonderful spirit in the local game."
To mark the silver anniversary, Westside will introduce a new event to the calendar.
"We're also proudly announcing the inaugural Key Employment Wheelchair Tennis Titles," Pade said.
"Three disabled athletes will take part in a round robin from 10am Sunday and we hope this will be the first of many such events."
Local wheelchair players Gavin Turner and Chris Wood will create their own slice of history when they defend home territory against Albion Park visitor Jerry Markoja.
Pade has urged public attendance at any of the three courts used across the weekend.
"Their may be a future Wimbledon winner or two in there somewhere," he said.