Weekend of tennis unites friends and raise money
Adult tennis players headed to the courts of the Mid-South over the weekend, to compete in the 6th annual Memphis Cup tournament.
“We are very excited about this tournament,” director Shannon McCalla said on day one of the competition. “This is one of the largest turnouts in Memphis Cup history!”
The tournament had drew an estimated 200 participants coming from more than 17 different cities, including Los Angeles and Minneapolis.
Twenty-two-year-old Pauline Gilbert, of Minneapolis, made her long trip worthwhile by taking home first place in her division.
“I’ve been traveling for tennis since I was a kid,” Gilbert said. “It’s just something that I’m used to. I’ve learned that a good match is worth every mile traveled.”
For some, the tournament was more than a weekend of competing; it was also a weekend of connecting with old and new friends they’ve met through playing tennis.
McCalla said she planned the tournament, hoping to bring together the tennis community and get them excited about the upcoming spring tennis season.
“So far almost everyone I’ve met since I’ve started playing tennis has been friendly and as nice on the court as they are off and I feel like I have a whole new world of friends,” said budding tennis player Nancy Hixson of East Memphis. “This tournament helped me reconnect with that world and broaden it.”
McCalla also had another goal in mind for the tournament; said she hoped for the Memphis Cup to raise at least $5,000, but was pleasantly surprised to see the proceeds reach $7,420.
The proceeds from the tournament go to the Memphis Tennis Association (MTA), a non-profit that organizes, promotes and supports the development of tennis in the city.
MTA funds the Tennis Memphis Youth Summer Camp, the largest summer camp in Memphis, bringing over 2,000 kids together every summer and operating out of 23 different locations in the area.
McCalla was happy to hear that the majority of tournament proceeds will be donated to the summer camp.
“The weekend was a success,” McCalla said as the tournament wrapped. “People got to play and the goal was met.”