Wild and wacky colours and behaviour was the theme for Vernon Tennis Association’s 10th Annual Fun Tournament Saturday at the Marshall Field courts.
A total of 32 players had a blast with organizers Jackie Labuhn and Marsha White having the tricky task of pairing up players and placing participants into four eight-player teams carrying the names Blue, Green, Red and Purple. There were six rounds of play, with doubles pairs taking to the courts three times. The players were under the clock because the number of games won in each round accumulated to determine the winners.
“In this event, you won’t see players in traditional Wimbledon whites,” said scorekeeper Wendy Bell, who joked about having to pay close attention to prevent overzealous participants from tampering with the team totals. “Rather, the courts are awash with a sea of colour. The familiar etiquette of quiet spectating is also set aside, and teams are encouraged to cheer loudly for their players to execute winning shots. At times, this becomes friendly heckling.”
Team Purple, consisting of Ben Johnson, Rudy Hagedorn, Lloyd Webber, Uriah Kane, White, Joe Fabi, Donna Stevens and Susan Gouchee, took an early lead.
While the Red Team pushed them at times, Purple Power prevailed with a total of 63 games won. The Red and Blue Teams were second and third with 51 and 47 games respectively, while the Green Team followed in fourth with 42 games.
Each of the victorious eight members of the Purple Team was rewarded for their efforts with a gift certificate to The Fig Bistro.
When play wrapped up, the four teams gathered on the grass to present their quickly rehearsed cheers.
“This song and dance made for some amusing moments ahead of the prize presentations for costumes and longest distance travelled to compete in the event,” added Bell. “Among the winners were Joe Fabi, who stayed up late to dye his outfit the required purple, and Rudy Hagedorn who made the journey from Langley. Players and guests enjoyed a lunch in the great outdoors with member Joe McFadden serving his prize-winning pulled pork sandwiches. VTA members brought a wide array of tasty salads and treats to fuel up the players after a full morning of tennis and cheering.”
Players gave props to the organizers, volunteers and generous sponsors which included Murray Bennetto of Re/Max, David Scarlatescu and Bea Weir of The Fig Bistro and Jeremy Bell.
“Of course, the event would not happen without the players and their enthusiastic participation and sportsmanship,” said Wendy Bell. “Tennis truly brings people together, both on and off the courts. The Vernon Tennis Association looks forward to running more events later in the season. Anyone interested in joining the VTA for week-night and Saturday morning organized play at Marshall Field can obtain further information at www.vernontennis.com.