South Wagga Public School tennis coach Sandy Hodges stood on the sidelines at Sydney Olympic Park last week and beamed with pride as her young players finished third in the Todd Woodbridge Cup.
Some of them had never played competitive tennis outside of school before, and yet here they were, the third-best team in the state.
“I knew they were going to be pretty solid contenders,” Hodges said.
“But it was hard to know what they'd be up against when we finally got to Sydney.”
Hodges said she was particularly impressed with her team’s determination to fight for third spot immediately after the heartbreak of missing the final.
“It was also just great to see how much the kids improved over the course of the competition,” she said.
“Some of them have taken up tennis outside of school as a result of this, and that’s what all of this has been about from the start.”