Healthy tennis on display at Kilauea

KILAUEA — “You do anything to save a point,” Leilani Magee said while stretching, lunging and going for a backhand save, Saturday.

Magee — who got help from Carolyn Lum; Sarah Kukino, Kaua‘i High School’s No. 1 girls singles player; Sarah’s sister Kaylin, a Junior Tennis player; and Mom — had a steady stream of takers as three lawn tennis set-ups punctuated the circle of tents set up at the Hawai‘i Healing Garden event at the Malama Kaua‘i headquarters in Kilauea.

The special lawn tennis set-up was billed as a means of getting the entire family active playing tennis using special foam balls on scaled-down courts.

“One of the organizers knew Magee and invited her to this event,” Lum said. “So she decided this was a good way to promote tennis. She’ll be doing another clinic in Princeville before she leaves.”

Magee, the principal for Hawaiian Isles Tennis, is an award-winning inspiring tennis educator who has taught all over the world, her Web site states.

Her mission is advancing community through tennis by education, support and empowerment.

This was obvious by the amount of encouragement she heaped upon young players who had never picked up a racket, or if they did, did not realize how it was used in the sport of tennis.

During the Hawai‘i Healing Garden event, it was all about learning how to stay healthy through the game of tennis.

The Princeville workshop and clinic embraced a dynamic warm-up, cardio tennis workout, learning how not to “choke” and to play in “the zone.”

Magee’s work with the lawn tennis set up, Saturday, comes in line with a series of introductory tennis programs that started with a block party in late May, and the start of “Play to Learn Tennis” classes which started June 10 at the Kaua‘i Community College tennis courts.

A second session is scheduled to start July 8 and continue for six sessions through July 24, meeting at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The 3 p.m. classes are geared for beginning players ages 8 and 14 and a 4 p.m. class is for Intermediate players in the same age group.

Additionally, a session for players on the Westside started on June 19 and will run through July 24 at the Waimea Tennis Courts under the direction of coach Barbara Childers. That class meets from 4 to 5 p.m.

Using the scaled-down version of the courts on lawns expands on the different types of surfaces that tennis can be played on, Lum said.

Tennis has been played on grass surfaces before, and currently, the matches at Wimbledon are played on grass surfaces.

The setup in Kilauea consisted of a free-standing post system holding a scaled down net.

“The beauty of this is that everything fits in a little red bag,” Lum said.

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