Growing tennis event breeds camaraderie

Rod Sueoka, owner of the Sueoka Store in Koloa, sends out invitations for his popular tennis tournament once a year.

His call to the Koloa community lures a broad cross-section of Kaua‘i residents, including lawyers, real estate businessmen, resort service staff, a taxi driver and a retiree or two.

From its humble beginnings as a competition among eight close friends, the burgeoning Fourth Annual Rod Sueoka Special Tennis Invitational has already doubled in size, and next year the group expects to see another two-fold increase in participation. But that doesn’t mean the tournament has lost any court-side fellowship along the way.

It’s still just a bunch of guys having a good time and vying for the right to take home the wooden bowl trophy for the year. They love to practice. They love to play. And they love to beat each other on the court every chance they get.

Bragging rights and this year’s tournament cup went to Charlie Ortiz.

Past winners include Jimmy Viado in ’05, Rick Honna in ’04 and Steve Slatterbeck in ’03.

The annual event takes place at the Poipu Kai on the third Wednesday of October.

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