Léa Pelard reports on the continued success of Dublin’s colleges on the national tennis circuit.
The city of Belfast welcomed this year’s Irish Tennis Intervarsity Championships from February 15 to February 17.
University College Dublin and Trinity College respectively won the lady’s and men’s trophy automatically qualifying for the 13th European Universities Tennis Championship in Coimbra, Portugal in July 2018.
A total of 31 teams from all over Ireland participated to the national student competition hoping to gain the right to compete against the best European tennis players.
The Irish Tennis Intervarsity Championships also held a bowl and a plate tournament for both Men and Women teams who were knocked out in the first round.
The three day championship ran according to the Varsities constitution, with each tie composed of six singles and three doubles matches.
Nine ladies’ teams and 21 men’s teams played over two tennis clubs, with most matches being played at Belfast Boat Club in Stranmillis and some others at Windsor Lawn Tennis Club.
To compete in the Irish Tennis Intervarsity Championships, universities had to form non-mixed teams of six players and pay fees of €400.
“Entry fees are slightly higher this year due to Brexit’s effects on the exchange rate and the increasing relative costs for us”, said Jamie Scott, Queen’s University of Belfast Tennis Club’s secretary.
Every year, the championship brings Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland players together, sharing the same passion and ambition.
Sports culture is a core aspect of university life in most English-speaking countries, including Ireland. The wide range of sports that students can get involved in in each university proves that.
“Part of going to college is to learn how you fit in the world, and being part of a team reinforces that discovery”, said Muhammad Nasir, DIT tennis club men’s captain.
Tennis is not always first choice for Irish students, but Nasir remains optimistic: “Joining competitions shows that our club is expanding and I hope that tennis will attract more people in the future.”