BY ROMULUS HUTA
MEMBERS of the Solomon Islands tennis team for the upcoming West Pacific Regional Championship (WPRC) in Fiji will depart Honiara for Nadi this Saturday.
Head coach Doreen Ningalo confirmed to SunSPORTS yesterday.
A total of 12 Honiara-based players will team up with other four players based in Fiji making a total of 16 players.
The Fiji-based quartet includes Zorika Morgan, Prudence Bird, Lachlan Guba and Jermain Kari.
Morgan, Bird and Guba are training at the regional tennis training center in Fiji under International Tennis Federation (ITF) scholarships while Kari is privately sponsored.
Solomon Islands participated with 14 players last year.
Looking at this year’s team, there is an increase of two players.
The West Pacific Regional Championship will run from April 30 to May 5 and it is a competition sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and organized by the Oceania Tennis Federation (OTF).
Countries attending the event alongside Solomon Islands include Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Norfolk Islands and host nation Fiji.
The competition features round robin play to determine entry into the main draw and play-offs for places in each of the under 12, 14 and 16 age categories.
Top players emerging from the championship will be chosen to represent the West Pacific team, who will compete at the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships (POJC).
The POJC is the region’s flagship elite junior tennis event and will be held from July 23 to August 1 in Fiji, with teams from the West, East and North Pacific regions competing against each other.
The Solomon Islands tennis team will return to Honiara on May 5.
Solomon Islands squad for West Pacific Tennis Championship:
12 and Under Category
Boys: Tristan Gregory Kelesi, Jefter David Beck, Lachlan Guba (Regional Training Centre)
Girls: Kerry Phillia Waita, Hilda Kafeta Agi and Jasnet Matafu
14 and Under Category
Boys: Habson Habu and Clivert Vakola
Girls: Zorika Dalice Morgan (Regional Training Centre), Prudence Bird (Regional Training Centre), Lorraine Gaote’e, Shirley Mani
16 and Under Category
Boys: Joel Riju, Junior Miki, Jermain Kari (Regional Training Centre
Girls: Marion Gaote’e
Dorrine Numa Ningalo (Coach), Selwyn Lam (Team Manager)