THREE of Griffith tennis’s most promising youngsters have been selected in the Riverina PSSA squad for the NSW State carnival in Albury in May.
Tristan Gibbs, Natalie Gibbs and Chloe Whittaker will represent the Riverina afterdominating the trials at the Jack Shannon courts on Monday.
If they impress in Albury, the trio could earn further honours in selection for the NSW team for the national titles.
Griffith has the greatest representation in the PSSA squad out of any Riverina city or town and coach Duncan Adams said that was testament to the commitment of local players.
“We are at a disadvantage being out in the rural areas but we seem to work harder,” he said.
“The kids are more committed – they train before and after school, they travel right around the Riverina trying to gain the points they need at the various tournaments.
“To reach the upper echelons of tennis out here, that’s what you have to do.”
Adams singled out No.1 seed Tristan Gibbs for particular praise.
“Tristan does have an excellent opportunity to make the state side,” he said of the 12-year-old.
“He’ll need to play very well. He’ll play the best tennis players in every other region in NSW.
“He’s demonstrated a fair bit of potential over the past few years and he’s obviously grown into his body and his ability.”
More than 40 public school students from all corners of the Riverina battled for a position in the Riverina team on Monday, having already gone through a competitive and rigorous process to get to the trials.
Most players had to go through an intitial school school selection process, community of schools’ selections and zone selection processes before playing on Monday.
“The three that were selected all displayed outstanding sportsmanship, they train regularly in their squads and are coached locally,” Adams said.
“Natalie has only just made the team but being in year 5, this will be a good blooding experience for her to see what the big picture is like.
“She’ll go away after competing at this level and realise what she will need to do to get to the next stage with her tennis.
“Chloe is a bit of a Johnny-come-lately on the tennis scene. She’s only started recently but she’s quite an athletic girl.”