TENNIS TIME: William Lees was ecstatic when he found out he had the chance to play tennis again.
TENNIS TIME: William Lees was ecstatic when he found out he had the chance to play tennis again. Zhanae Conway-Dodd

Little tennis players hit big at CQ comp

WILLIAM Lees fell in love with the sport of tennis four years ago but hasn't had the chance to play since.

That was until last Friday when he joined his fellow St Joseph's School team mates to take part in the Red Ball competition.

Callide Valley tennis association coach Helan Ambrey helped host the event for the second consecutive year which gathered 110 children at the local courts to hit it out for a chance at a place in the state finals in Brisbane.

Mrs Ambrey said the teams this year had more players with 10 plus children in each.

"We have around six schools in total here today (last Friday) including Biloela State School, Reedeemer, St Joseph's, Thangool State School, Goovigen State School, Prospect Creek State School and Mt Murchision State School,” she said.

"To have this event here it means we don't have to travel to Port Curtis which is great because we have such great numbers here.

"Basically the winner from today (last Friday) will go through to the state finals in Brisbane which is pretty exciting for a small country town.”

The Red Ball event is part of a larger competition that includes older, more experienced players.

"The great thing about this event is that some of them have never played tennis before, they have only just been introduced to it at school and it's for all levels,” Mrs Ambrey said.

"There are two other divisions that play and they have already played. An Orange Ball level for grade 5 and under and then a Green Ball level for grade six and under and they are for more accomplished players.”

One St Joseph's Biloela team has secured a place in the Orange Ball finals in Brisbane. William said his team won each of their sets.

"I first played tennis four years ago and I haven't had a chance to play since because my parents said no but I got the sheet from Mrs Ambery and asked my parents and they said sure you can do it,” he said.

William said he and his team mates practised during school time on Fridays to prepare for the competition.

"The hardest part is just making sure to get the ball in the right place when you play,” William said.

He hoped he could continue playing tennis.

"My favourite part of today was just interacting with everyone and playing tennis with each other,” he said.

Mrs Ambrey said thank you to teachers and parents who helped make the day possible.

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