As I've stated in previous articles, I have a special group of
people that play tennis here at the Corfu Holiday Palace Tennis
Center and the Vicky Cup demonstrates exactly what I've been talking
about and gives me yet another reason to stay here in Corfu.
Vicky is a lady of Dutch origin and is the 'common link' between
the Dutch and English communities here in Corfu. Every lady that
plays here knows her and each other through her. Vicky is also quite
ill and well, the ladies decided to dedicate their friendly, and
first, Dutch vs. English competition in her honor.
I would love to take credit for this competition, but the real
credit goes to Veronica (of Dutch origin) and Julia (of English
origin and a close friend of Vicky's). I may have dropped some hints
and made some suggestions, but they really made the Vicky Cup a
reality and all the credit, and rightly so, should be given to them.
Four doubles matches were then set up for this inaugural competition.
The matches were scheduled for 11:00 am on February 15, 2004, and,
as luck would have it, it started to lightly rain at 10:50 and drenched
our 2 Deco Turf hard courts. By 11:30, and through a real 'team'
effort, we had the courts 'playable' enough and the ladies began
what will now forever be known as the Vicky Cup.
These ladies range in ability, skill level and experience and,
despite the difficult conditions (wet, heavy balls and small puddles
on the court) the tennis was pretty good that day. Most noticeably
was the laughter and the shared camaraderie that a sport like tennis
can provide. Who won? Well, the first Vicky Cup went to the English
ladies 4-0 but I think, or should say know, that everyone was a
winner that day. Afterwards, the ladies all went to Veronica's home
for coffee, and I suspect, the wine they were playing for. It was
a great day for all of us!
The future of this very special competition seems absolutely secure.
They have already planned to play again next month, more people
have expressed an interest in playing, most of these ladies also
have children who play here so there's the possibility of some junior
matches, possibly some mother/son or mother/daughter matches, a
day long family type competition. A very friendly rivalry has also
begun between the English and Dutch communities, which can only
be positive for everyone concerned. One things for certain, Vicky:
Your many Dutch, English and American friends will be thinking about
you at every competition!
Tennis really is an amazing sport. It brings communities together,
builds lasting friendships, and, in this case, a very special, living
tribute to a wonderful friend that they don't want to say goodbye
God Bless You Vicky! From your English, Dutch and American friends
here in Corfu!!
Phil Naessens is the Director of Tennis/Head
Tennis Professional at the Corfu Holiday Palace in Corfu,
Greece. For information regarding the many programs for
tourists and locals, contact Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org.