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USTA School Day at the 2012 Honolulu Challenger

USTA School Day at the 2012 Honolulu Challenger
Playing with pro at School Day at 2012 Honolulu Challenger
US Open Mixed Doubles Champion Jack Sock with Mokapu Elementary school kids


USTA School Day at the 2012 Honolulu Challenger

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USTA School Day at the 2012 Honolulu Challenger served-up tennis to over 50 fourth graders from Mokapu Elementary located at the Kaneohe Marine Base.

The host site, Kailua Racquet Club provided two courts that became reformatted to conduct 10 and Under Tennis games and activities. After an hour of playing tennis, that included rallies with tournament pro, Thomas Shubert, the kids were filed into the bleachers getting a chance to watch third seed Tatsuma Ito from Japan take on rising American star Denis Kudla in the quarter finals.


A first time at a Pro Circuit event for all of them, the kids watched in awe and amazement.

“I’ve never seen this kind of tennis before,” remarked 10 year old, Gabe Kudzal.  “They’re so fast and so strong. Ito doesn’t miss as much. I can get better pictures of him. He has good poses. I already took over 10 pictures of him.”


“We’re having a lot of fun,” said 9 year old Hannah Fiala, who minutes later got autographs on their tee shirts from tournament pros Robert Kendrik and Amer Delic.  “We play tennis at school but it’s special to watch the pros.”

“My son was never interested in sports until he tried tennis at school,” commented Monica Delfin, mother of 10 year old Emilio, who was a chaperone for the field trip.  “The different games have really engaged him.”


“This is an eye opening experience,” said Judy Dahl, the teacher responsible for agreeing to fit tennis into her schedule, was grateful for the opportunity to spend the morning at a USTA Pro Circuit Event. “There was a growing interest after we incorporated it into our PE unit. The kids were thrilled getting autographs and meeting the pros. We excited to form a tennis club.”


“Some of these kids can already play and be on a team,” said USTA Hawaii Pacific Section’s Director of Schools, Sheila Kurosu introduced tennis to the fifth graders for a couple weeks before inviting them to the event. “It’s simple to learn when we use the QuickStart format.”


School Tennis is a core initiative of the USTA Hawaii Pacific Section, reaching cover 10,000 kids annually.