More than 500 athletes will be in Richmond for one of the city’s biggest tennis tournaments starting this weekend.
The 59th annual Richmond Open Cup Tournament will commandeer the Richmond Tennis Club from May 12 to 21.
Tennis matches will be taking place simultaneously across the courts at the club and are free for the public to watch.
Games will run between 5 p.m. and roughly 9 p.m. on weeknights and 9:30 a.m. until approximately 7 p.m. on weekends.
The tournament in Richmond this year is not only a time for athletes to gather and compete but also to showcase the sport to the public, explained Susan Au-Young, a volunteer with the Richmond Tennis Club.
“We hope to achieve more public awareness and more exposure about the sport,” said Au-Young, who has been with the club for 20 years.
“We want to bring the excitement of playing tennis to athletes and also those watching from the stands.”
This year's theme for the tournament is “tennis community as one.”
A community is created by many organizations and people, not just one, she added.
“Many athletes, volunteers and sponsors have stepped up to ensure we get the word out about the tournament and what tennis is really about.”
Au-Young described tennis as a “young sport” where athletes can start at a very young age and play even up to the age of 60.
“We’d love to bring a younger demographic to the club as well.”
Au-Young told the Richmond News the club is also working on a bursary to help young athletes get their foot in the sport.
Tennis can be expensive and is “up there with skiing and golfing,” according to Au-Young.
“Not only the sport, but everything around the city is so unaffordable now that we want to make sure we can support young athletes in some way,” she said.
“We want the bursary to help players around the city.”
For more information on the Richmond Open tournament, click here.