Tennis Tournament in Darjeeling

Darjeeling : Introduced by British planters more than a century ago, tennis in the hills is set to get a new lease of life.

The resurrection of the sport is in keeping with the changing profile of the game and the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club has decided to set the ball rolling by hosting the first-ever tennis tournament in the hill town.

To be held on the club premises, the three-day Darjeeling Gymkhana Amateur Invitation Championship will begin from April 20.

“More than 80 participants from Bhutan, Nepal, Calcutta and other districts of Bengal will participate in the tournament,” said Roshan Kant Ghisingh, the secretary of the organising committee.

While Bhutan will be represented by Bhutan Tennis Federation, the Nepal team will be led by Manoj Rana and Chamba Dhendup, both regulars in the international veterans’ circuit. Participants from Calcutta Gymkhana Club, DKS Club, Shyam Bazaar Tennis Club, Balurghat 1928 Club and the Himalayan Tennis Academy from Siliguri will compete in the event with teams from Midnapore, Durgapur, Malda.

The tournament also comes with promises of setting up an academy for the sport and future events in which regulars from the national circuit are expected to take part.

“Our team has been doing well in outstation tournaments and officials of the Bengal Tennis Association feel that players from the hills can excel in the sport by virtue of their physical prowess, fitness and natural flair for the game. They have given word to provide coaches if an academy is set up here,” said Jit Pradhan, a member of the club.

The upcoming tournament will be a curtain-raiser for the centenary celebrations of the club next year. The festivities next year will be aimed at popularising games in the hills, the members of the club said.

“During the centenary celebrations we will try to organise other tournaments for billiards and badminton,” said Brij Mohan Garg, the vice-president of the club.

Source: The Telegraph