Photos:Tribune sports reporter shares love for tennis with lakecity youth

Greg Sabatino smiles as he serves a ball for one of the aspiring tennis players he taught last week. Patrick Davies photo.
Tennis players Keiva Peterson (from left), Kathryn Navratil, Lucas Sanford, Isla Foote, Jana Schreve, Tobias Baumann, Karl Schreve and coach Greg Sabatino enjoyed a week of lessons last week in the lakecity. Patrick Davies photo.
Karl Schreve serves a ball (from left) while fellow tennis players Kathryn Navratil and Jana Schreve watch. Patrick Davies photo
Lucas Sanford eagerly serves a ball as his friend Tobias Baumann looks on. Patrick Davies photo.
Kathryn Navratil lunges to intercept a freshly served ball during a series of drills Greg Sabatino put the children through. Patrick Davies photo.
Tobias Baumann prepares to smash a tennis ball during practice. Patrick Davies photo.
Lucas Sanford prepares to return a fast serve. Patrick Davies photo.
Isla Foote (back) watches to see if Jana Schreve’s (from left) serve made it along with Keiva Peterson. Patrick Davies photo.

Seven local youth were served up a week of tennis lessons last week in the lakecity.

Hosted by the city’s Recreation Services department and coached by Tribune sports reporter Greg Sabatino at the Kiwanis Tennis Courts, it was the first time the sport had been offered to children in the area in the past five years.

Suzanne Cochrane, the city’s recreation programmer, said they’ve had difficulty finding someone to coach the sport, however, learned of Sabatino’s past competitive playing days in tennis and thought he might fit the bill.

Throughout the week, consisting of five, one-and-a-half-hour sessions, players learned all of the basics of the game, beginning at square one, moving from forehands, to backhands, to volleys, to serving and how to keep score in a match.

Read More: Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club to support Golfathon for ALS

On the final day, players took what they’d learned throughout the week into a round robin tournament where they played off for prizes.

Sabatino said he had a lot of fun with participants, and added he hopes to be able to help offer lessons again next spring, or summer, depending on the city’s sport camp scheduling.

“The kids were all a blast to be around,” he said. “They were keen to learn, and I saw huge improvement by the end of the week, even in such a short amount of time they had to learn a new sport.”

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