There was the first tennis festival of a new format in Kharkiv. The competition was dedicated to City Day and the Independence Day of Ukraine and was held under the sponsorship of Igor Terekhov, the Secretary of Kharkiv City Council.
“Kharkiv devotes a lot of attention to the development of various sports. We try to make sports accessible for children, adults and people with disabilities. We are grateful to Elina Svitolina Foundation for working together. I hope that shortly we together will discover many new tennis stars”, said Igor Terekhov, the Secretary of Kharkiv City Council.
4 tennis clubs in the city, including Unicort, Superior Golf & Spa Resort, AKS, and Central Park, hosted the competition.
The winners in the age category up to 10 and 12 years old received cups and medals, prizes from partners and gifts from Elena Svitolina Foundation’s partner Nike. In addition, the Ukrainian Sports Clinic provided each winner with certificates, which can be spent on the clinic’s services for testing and preventing injuries to athletes.
The Foundation granted the tournament winners in the age category up to 12 years old the right to participate in the third season of Elina Svitolina’s tennis camp that will take place in September. In addition, the Kinder Joy of Movement Tennis Trophy provided a Wild Card to all winners in the under-10 age group for participation in the National Qualifying Tournament.
“We are thrilled to join this initiative, as the foundation aims to promote tennis and support talented tennis players. We see that there is a demand in the society for such events, and we hope that the first tennis festival that took place will become a tradition not only in Kharkiv but also in other cities of Ukraine. We have very gifted children. To have tennis stars of Elina Svitolina level in ten years, we need to help and create all the conditions today”, said Anna Popovchenko, director of the Elina Svitolina Charitable Foundation.
The winners in the under-16 age group, in addition to cups, medals and diplomas, received prizes from the tournament partner Wilson, “World of Sports” store. Also, all the finalists of the adult tournament were awarded souvenirs from the Department of Family, Youth and Sports of Kharkiv City Council.
The first tournament of ITF Seniors among veterans in the age categories over 45 and 55 years old had 9 participants who won prizes in singles and doubles.
For the first time in Ukraine, it was decided to include a category for people over 90 years old. Only one participant registered for it. The oldest tennis player in the world who took part in the competition is Leonid Stanislavsky from Kharkiv.
As part of the tournament, players with disabilities played an exhibition match. Finally, wheelchair tennis players played with Leonid Stanislavsky. But, of course, the organisers didn’t keep the score because the result does not matter in such duels.
The most valuable thing is that everyone who loves tennis and tries to spend time on the courts should feel a part of the big tennis family. Such a family gathered at the Gala Final, where the winners were awarded, and a charity auction of lots from Elina Svitolina took place.
“The idea of the tournament was to bring the tennis community together. Tennis is a big family where everyone who loves this sport and gives a part of themselves has a place. So we were able to invite everyone to the same city simultaneously and meet many people. It is vital. The better people get to know each other, the stronger their communication and their relationships deeper. The less hostility and aggression they have, which often irritates our society”, concluded Vsevolod Kevlich, the tournament director.
The organisers addressed the words of gratitude to the initiators and partners of the competition, including the Department of Family, Youth and Sports of Kharkiv City Council, Elena Svitolina Foundation, Morshynska Sports (the official water brand of the tournament), NIKE, Wilson Svit Sportu, Superior Golf & Spa Resort, Ukrainian Sports Clinic, Tennis Consulting, RA Golden Gramophone, MFM Radio.
The magazine “Tennis Club”, the web portal “Greater Tennis of Ukraine”, and the Ukrainian tennis portal tennisua.org are among the information partners of the competition.
The awarding ceremony was emotional and inspired, thanks to the evening partners, including Solly Plus Automobile House, the official representative of Mercedes Benz in Kharkiv, ZHAN Niche Concept network of niche perfume and cosmetics boutiques and Stakhovsky wines.