The Tennis Association of Swift Current opened its season with a big kick-off event Saturday morning.

Starting at 9 a.m., members gathered together at the courts in Riverside Park. They welcomed some folks looking to try the sport out for the first time, giving them a chance to test their skills and preference for the game.

One of the members participating was Mailyn Janette Lucas Leyeza, a former long-distance runner who picked up the sport as she was having trouble in her original athletic pursuit. She was thrilled to see so many people trying out the ball and racquet. 

Mailyn Janette Lucas Leyeza rally's during her morning match with Kimberly Hartwick. Mailyn Janette Lucas Leyeza rally's during her morning match with Kimberly Hartwick.

"All our courts are full," remarked Leyeza. "Anyone who would like to join us, just go to our Facebook page! We will help you even if you are a newbie."

Her longest run, in the Philippines, was over 80 kilometres. She still does some running, but after getting older and having to slow down to remain healthy, she decided to try out tennis.

"I remember when I was here in Swift Current back in 2008, I joined the tennis clinic and then I quit right away because I could not even hit the ball," recalled Leyeza. "After that, with perseverance and practice, I was able to return 10 balls. I am so proud of myself for that."

Leyeza even went as far as to get her rating set by Kimberly Hartwig, another figurehead in the Swift Current Tennis Association. She awarded Leyeza a rating of 2.5. 

"I was nervous about doing that, but then I just thought that I had to know my rating," said Leyeza. "At least I know where I could improve more now."

Anyone else looking to join or try the sport is encouraged to follow the Tennis Association on Facebook, where they list dates and times for their events.