Former UH captain helps tennis camp

PUHI — When beginning and intermediate tennis players showed up for the first class, they were greeted by Samanta Cappella.

Cappella, the former captain of the University of Hawai‘i women’s tennis team, is joining Ernie Blachowiak, coach of the Island School tennis teams, in leading an instructional course in tennis at the Kaua‘i Community College tennis courts.

The first class for the two-session summer program met Tuesday and will continue through June 26 for Session A, and from July 8 through July 24 for Session B.

Carolyn Lum, one of the coordinators for the program, said although classes have started, people interested in joining can still come into the program.

Classes meet Tuesday and Thursday afternoons with the beginners taking the court from 3 to 4 p.m. and the intermediate players having their turn from 4 to 5 p.m.

The program encompasses players aged from 8 to 14 years old, although on Tuesday, Emily Melchor was able to keep up with Blachowiak’s drills, utilizing forehand and backhand returns.

“You might just be looking at a future Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation group, here,” Blachowiak said.

Lum was thrilled that Cappella is working with Blachowiak to help the young tennis enthusiasts of the island.

“She’s originally from Argentina, but came to play at UH where she was captain for two years,” Lum said. “Now, she’s planning to move here because she has a good friend that lives here, and that should be a boost to tennis.”

Lum said once Cappella’s move here is finalized, she envisions tennis programs starting up at other locations such as Po‘ipu Kai.

The registration fee for each of the sessions is $30 for each child for the six sessions. Lum said people who want to register their child for the current session will possibly get a pro-rated fee.

For more information, people can call Lum at 245-9661, or e-mail hawaii96766@yahoo.com

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