It has been a busy week at CIYMS with two tournaments for their tennis players with sight loss.
The adult tournament was played over two days on Monday and Tuesday followed by a Christmas lunch and prize giving in the clubhouse. National Champion Brian Lenehan emerged overall winner, closely followed by Patricia McKnight and Melanie Stewart. The 20 serves challenge is now an established part of the tournaments at CI, and Melanie set a new record, serving 20/20 serves to take the serving prize. This was a remarkable achievement for Melanie who is relatively new to the game.
Marking 12 months of VI@CI, a new award was created – The Spirit of VI@CI Award; this was awarded to David Cooper for his patience and skill at learning the game and for his delightful manner and sportsmanship.
Patricia McKnight was awarded star player this term for her dedication to the game and to the group, with her constant smile!
Jane Mounsey at CIYMS Tennis Club comments,
“Thank you to Belfast City Council for their funding of this term and for the tournament trophies and medals. Everyone has had a great term and the standard of play was testament to the hard work put in by the players, our coaches and volunteer team”.
On Sunday the VI Kids stepped on court for their first tournament. The two groups of children have been working really hard towards this tournament and the hard work paid off, with some excellent tennis on show.
Jessica Crandles has worked so hard on her tennis, not missing a single week this term and it was great to see her take the overall tournament winner prize, along with most improved player and joint winner of the serving challenge. This remarkable young woman has battled through illness since joining CIYMS on a tennis taster session in the summer and with all her dedication to the game has been transformed into a competent and capable tennis player. Truly well done to Jessica and to her coach Neil.
Sophie McBride played really well and was the worthy joint winner of the serving prize and over all runner up. Peter and Molly took the bronze medals and Jack took the sighted sibling’s prize.
Star prize went to Samantha who is always a joy to be around and is making steady progress in her game.
Jane Mounsey at CIYMS was delighted with the support this year saying,
“Thank you to our Saturday evening coaches Gary and Neil, assisted by Anna, for their brilliant work with our two groups, and to Head Coach Stephen for giving up his afternoon to help with the tournament.
"Thank you also to Barry Coates and Dulux for the delightfully tactile fluffy pups and Christmas chocolate.
"These two groups have been sponsored by Ulster Tennis and Belfast City Council to whom we are indebted for their continued backing.
Thank you to our partner from day one, Disability Sport NI and to Judith for her continued support and guidance.
As always, none of it would be possible without our fantastic volunteers this week and every week – Thank you all. It has been an amazing first year for the sport at CIYMS, with VI@CI becoming an integral, inspirational and rewarding part of our club”.