AWA Tennis is a welcoming group of women who aim to form strong relationships through learning and playing tennis. Anyone can participate, even if you’ve never held a racquet! AWA Tennis is a huge group within AWA, and we have activities that occur multiple times a week throughout the year, with the exception of June/July, when we take a bit of a break.
Our activities cover all levels. You can join our popular Tennis Clinics held at Savitar Tennis Centre if you’re keen to learn or improve your game. We offer Social Singles, Social Doubles, Evening Social Doubles, and Mixed Doubles events throughout the year where participants can make new friends while playing a few sets of tennis. We also have Team Tennis each December/January, where all players are organized evenly into teams to compete in a fun and social environment. Two competitive tournaments occur each year: The Doubles Plate for intermediate players and Doubles Cup for advanced players.
On the very social end of the spectrum, we have the popular Girls Night Out where we play silly games, have a costume contest based on a theme (last one was Mardi Gras), and socialize a bit over nibbles and bubbles. We’re also hosting an end of season party in May this year so that we can all get together off the court - will we even recognize one another without our tennis skirts and racquets?
Some events, like Girls Night Out and Beginner Clinics, do not require anything to join except a racquet and willingness to play and learn. We do request a tennis rating for our other events, so that players are grouped by level, which ensures that the experience is both fun and a bit competitive. We therefore offer tennis assessments once a month (and sometimes more) to ensure that everyone has what they need to participate!
INTERVIEW WITH AN AWA TENNIS MEMBER
What is your name? Paige Jenkinson
How did you hear about AWA Tennis? My friend and fellow AWA member, Susan Williams, asked me to join her at an AWA Tennis Clinic in April of 2021.
How long have you been with this group? I’ve been with AWA tennis since April 2021 - I started with AWA Tennis Clinics having never held a racquet! It was one of the only activities that kept going throughout Covid and it was a lifesaver for all of us to be able to get on the court and hit! I’ve been on the tennis committee as tennis clinic coordinator since April of 2022.
Have you done anything similar to this in other cities, countries, expat or otherwise? I played sports throughout my childhood and teen years, but never tennis. I’ve been in exercise groups while on other expat assignments, but nothing as big as this or with as many opportunities to play and meet new people.
Tell about your favorite moment with AWA Tennis. Tell about what it means to you to have been a part of this group. My favorite part about AWA Tennis is being the Tennis Clinic Coordinator for the Tennis Committee. I had never even held a racquet when I showed up at Savitar Tennis Centre for my first clinic in April of 2021. I now play multiple times a week, whether lessons, social play, on teams or at clinics. Savitar’s coaches have instilled a love of tennis in me because they are very passionate about what they do. Additionally, I love all of the women that I have met while participating in AWA Tennis events. The committee members with whom I now work as volunteers to keep AWA Tennis running are a dedicated, driven, competitive, social, and fantastic group of women from all walks of life. Being able to work with and help the people who have given me this new love and passion to pursue fills me with joy and purpose.
Has there been any change in you since you’ve participated in AWA Tennis? Can you elaborate on the changes you’ve been through as a result of participating in AWA Tennis? Joining an AWA Tennis Clinic was the catalyst for some major changes in me because playing tennis is very physically and mentally demanding. Physically, I am much more fit than I was two years ago and I now attend a variety of exercise classes. More important to me are the mental changes. Tennis is such a mental game. The amount of focus it takes to learn a skill, improve upon it, and then implement it in competitive play is immense. I have learned so many things about myself by playing this sport. If I had to choose which were most important to me, it would be the ability to appreciate how much my body can actually do and the fact that I have learned to be my own cheerleader and believe I can - that mental change has been the biggest one for me by far.
Anything else you want to share about the AWA Tennis group? Any special site, activity, opportunity, that gave you something extra to think about? I highly recommend this group and activity to anyone. Tennis really is accessible to any level of player and AWA Tennis welcomes all. We’re a diverse group of fabulous women who all have this one thing in common - and one thing is all you need to make a connection that can result in forming a lifelong friendship.
Since moving from Philadelphia in 2018, Helena has been active with AWA's Walking with Women, Writers' Group and International Vocal Ensemble, as well as with Urban Sketchers of Singapore. See her artwork on Instagram @helena_antolin_cochrane