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Tennis club changing the game for Pacific youth in Ōtara
Updates / Community , 12 Mar 24
Every Friday after school, the sound of the school bell signals for a group of Pacific youth that it is time to head to the East Tamaki Domain Tennis Club. As part of a weekly programme, the club hosts junior sessions for youth aged 7-18, providing an opportunity to learn key skills in tennis whilst encouraging them to continue growing their love for the sport. Through a partnership with the club, Pasifika Futures (PFL) recently donated new tennis rackets and tennis balls to help support the club with their sessions.

The programme has now been in action for three weeks, purposed with big dreams, says President of the club, Manase Soakai. 

"We've dreamt of having an opportunity to train our juniors and we love seeing these kids who love tennis wanting to learn and play. They're coming from different parts of Auckland to participate in the programme, such as West Auckland, Papatoetoe and Onehunga. 

"Our club is competitive and we want to see our kids compete with other clubs as well. One of our coaches represented Tonga at the South Pacific Games and won gold, so we look forward to the kids training and hopefully competing with the top tennis players in Auckland."

Mr Soakai expresses gratitude to PFL for their support and says it has been well received by the kids. 

"The kids are excited to have the new rackets and so are the parents. This sort of investment makes them excited to come and we're very grateful for the support."

Partnerships Manager for PFL, Sione Feki, says the relationship with the tennis club is a welcome partnership. 

"Our values align in wanting to create stronger communities and spaces that foster an environment that encourages youth leadership and engagement. 

"Aside from donating some resources to help with their training sessions, we also help provide some food as the kids are coming straight from school. We look forward to maintaining this partnership and continuing our support for the tennis club."