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76th Aotearoa Maori Tennis Championships

PANUI PAPAHO/PRESS STATEMENT

Te 13 o nga ra o Hakihea 2002

KI A:

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76th AOTEAROA MAORI TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS

A Maori tennis tournament with a tradition spanning more than seven decades will once again attract families from throughout the country this Christmas.

Entries are now being called for the 76th Aotearoa Maori Tennis Championships which will be held at the Waikato Tennis Centre in Hamilton from December 27 to 30.

Aotearoa Maori Tennis Association executive director Richard (Dick) Garratt says the annual competition has been a showcase and launching pad for young Maori tennis talent over the years.

Star performers have included Kelly Everden, Arleen Rolleston, Troy Tipene, Rewa Hudson, Eru Lyndon, Nicola Kaiwai, Gaye McManus, Lianne Baker, Shelley Stephens and Tracey O'Connor. Stephens and Baker are currently ranked number one and two in New Zealand.

Hudson, Kaiwai and the Douglas sisters will battle for the senior women's title at this year's tournament while Rodney Cook and Eru Lyndon are among the competitors in the senior men's category.

"The event also attracts more than just the serious competition players," Mr Garratt says. "It's a family tournament too, with participants playing at anywhere from pre-schooler to pensioner level."

The tournament has nearly a dozen grades including super veterans; veterans; seniors; social grade; 18 years and under; 14 and 16 years and under; and 10 and 12 years and under.

The Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu Mokopuna Event will also cater for children aged under eight years.

ENDS

Entry form attached. For more information, contact Dick Garratt on 09 278 6591, 025 901 237, fax 09 278 6582 or e-mail rpdg@xtra.co.nz.

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