24 September 2010

It’s always a pleasant sight to see children put the best foot forward and show off their worth. The venue of the Tashkent Open – the Olympic Tennis School tennis courts – bubbled with enthusiastic tiny tots drawn from various schools in the vicinity to enjoy a game of tennis.

With about 50 odd kids assembling it was testimony that the event which is organized by the Uzbekistan tennis Federation (UTF ) to coincide with the ongoing Tashkent Open was growing in popularity.

According to Lim Valera, Coordinator UTF, these programmes involve bringing children from different schools to the courts each day for the next two days, for two hours in the morning and expose them to the atmosphere of the event and the sport. “We will have another 50 kids coming in tomorrow,” he said.

Uzbekistan Tennis Federation Junior Tennis has initiated the event to popularize the sport among children “It’s not about teaching them to play tennis but to show them the fun side of it,” Valery added.

Says Oleg Khabibulin, coordinator of Mini tennis in Uzbekistan, we have been running the programme all over the nation. We have more than 17000 children playing mini tennis.

“No we have tournaments at Namangan, Kharshi, Samarkand, Bukhara and Tashkent regularly,” he adds. “We have been able to send 20 young children from our programme into the Olympic school this year,” Khabibulin adds.

The children attending the event today received souvenirs like caps, towels, balls from the Uzbekistan Tennis Federation apart from Mini racquets and balls.

To make it the event interactive, fun games were also organized for the children. Prizes were given away at the hands of S. Uthrapathy, Tournament Director Tashkent Open.

The winners of the tennis competition which was contested in two age groups 6-8 years and 9-10 years are as follows.

6-8 years: 1—Elichin Kubalov; 2—Zafar Mirayubov; 3—Darya Kornilova; 4—Kim Olesya.
9-10 years: 1— Shahobiddin Husainov; 2—Kaleriya Tomashevich; 3—Elina Sharipova; 4—Aziza Tulyaganova


Date of Birth: 26 Aug 1990
Birthplace: Bucharest, Romania
Height: 5’ 11" (1.81 m)
Plays: RIght-handed
WTA Singles Ranking – 58 (As of August 20, 2018)

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