12 March 2020 | Tennis West

More than thirty primary and secondary school students from across the South West will travel to Perth at the end of the month to contest the prestigious SunSmart Schools Tennis Classic Academy Plate, the Slazenger Cup and the Herbert Edward Cup.

A record number of 315 students, from across 18 South West schools, made up for the 70 teams which took to the courts of the Bunbury Tennis Club last week. In what was the largest of the country zone playoffs, the event forms part of the wider SunSmart Schools Tennis Classic series facilitated by School Sport WA and Tennis West.

The Dunsborough PS team were victorious in the South West zone playoffs and will look for a repeat of last year’s results when they travel to Perth to defend the Academy Plate Country title which they won in 2019. Representing the South West zone, students from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School (Bunbury) and Fredrick Irwin Anglican School (Halls Head) who join the team from Dunsborough PS in competing for the title against regional zone finalist from the Great Southern, Upper Great Southern, Eastern District and Central Districts zones.

Headed to Perth to contest the historic Slazenger Cup are teams from Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School and Fredrick Irwin Anglican School (Meadow Springs), who will compete against teams from both regional and metropolitan schools. Teams from Georgiana Molloy Anglican School (Busselton) and St Mary MacKillop College (Busselton) will also compete against both regional and metropolitan schools in contesting the final of the Herbert Edward Cup.

The SunSmart Schools Tennis Classic tournament series boasts as the largest participation tennis tournament in Western Australia. Metropolitan primary school teams will contest the Academy Plate at the State Tennis Centre and Alexander Park TC, whilst country zone playoffs determine the regional schools who travel to Perth for the Academy Plate Country Final. The metropolitan and regional, secondary schools competition culminates with the finals of the historic Slazenger Cup (years 7-12) and Herbert Edward Cup (years 7-9) at the State Tennis Centre, Roberston Park and Alexander Park TC, throughout the month of March.

Tennis West Schools Development Coordinator and Tournament Director Jason Marrable says the country zone playoffs were well contested by all students involved.

‘What’s been noted across each of the country zone playoffs, is a great standard of tennis, alongside fine examples of sportsmanship and comradery displayed by all students and teams,’

‘The country zone playoffs brings schools and students together from across the regions and pleasingly we’ve seen a record number of teams and players hit the courts for the chance to travel to Perth for the final at the end of March,’ Marrable said.

The SunSmart Schools Tennis Classic Academy Plate Country Final, made possible through the ongoing generosity and support of Healthway and the D’Arcy Slater Foundation, will be held at the State Tennis Centre and Belmont Tennis Club on Friday 27 March.

The Slazenger Cup stands as Western Australia’s longest running secondary schools competition, with the historic cup dating back to 1913. The Herbert Edward Cup for lower secondary school students was first contested in 1944, whilst the Academy Plate, for metropolitan and regional primary schools, was first awarded in 1963.

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