Ojai Tennis Tournament also includes the younger generation

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Ojai Valley News photo by Holly Roberts
Katie McArthur, a student at Topa Topa Elementary School, hits a forehand shot.
The 117th running of the Ojai Valley Tennis Tournament is around the corner. The flurry of excitement which envelops the event also affects many elementary school students who will participate in the annual Quickstart Challenge April 27 at 3 p.m. on the lower Libbey Park tennis courts.
"The challenge, which is now called The 10-and-Under Tournament, is part of ‘The Ojai’ and represents
the culmination of a year's worth of basic tennis instruction at Ojai Valley area elementary schools by area tennis professionals and volunteers,” said Jakob Vos, chair of the Ojai Valley Tennis Club Youth Tennis Committee. “It is definitely on its way to becoming another special Ojai tradition."
The Ojai’s 10-and-Under Tournament players come from all Ojai area elementary schools, demonstrating the skills they have acquired through the Quick Start Program directed by Philippe Gache. The program is administered and supported by the Ojai Recreation Department, with additional support from the Ojai Unified School District and the Ojai Valley Tennis Club, the organizer of “The Ojai.” It is a U.S. Tennis Association program developed for young children, utilizing a smaller court format, youth-sized rackets and low-density balls which lead to players acquiring basic tennis skills quickly. 
"You can watch the progress and enthusiasm during the tournament when the players compete for prizes, but most of all they are showing a nascent love for sportsmanship and camaraderie that the game provides," Vos explained.
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