PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles Sports Club combined with Cal Poly Women’s Tennis to put on a Pro-Am on Oct. 28 with over 30 participants and a number of kids from North County High Schools. This was the third year of the Pro-Am but it was the first time that the Mustangs have been able to partner with all three North County schools in Templeton, Paso Robles and Atascadero.
A private nonprofit organization, B-Loved, provided scholarships for 12 varsity players for each of the high schools that allowed them to participate in a lesson, followed by the Pro-Am where they were able to play side by side with members of the Poly Women’s team. On top of providing top-tier instruction and a learning atmosphere that is second to none, the Pro-Am also functioned as a fundraiser for the Cal Poly Women’s Tennis team that competes in the PAC 12 with schools that have nearly unlimited funding and resources.
“It was such a pleasure to have a venue where my two passions [North County tennis, and Cal Poly] met for a day on the courts,” Director of Tennis for Paso Robles Sports Club and fourth-year assistant Coach at Cal Poly said. “It allowed for high school players to play right alongside of Division 1 athletes. The kids were inspired after seeing what that next several levels look like, and set a few goals for their future play”.
The over 30 players from the local schools took part in a four-hour lesson with three Cal Poly coaches followed by live ball and doubles play before finishing up with tri-tip, bbq chicken lunch.
“We have such an amazing network of tennis players in the north county,” Barber, whose sons played for both the Greyhounds and the Mustangs, said. “Every year their support of Cal Poly Tennis grows and they are so generous! Their support allows our Cal Poly Program to compete on a more level playing field with some of the best teams in the country. UC Berkley, Stanford, UCLA…their budgets are so large in comparison that fundraising is essential on our end just to be able to level out the opportunities to display our talent. A Pro-Am is a fun opportunity for the men and women of the north county to show support, meet the team, and share a meal together.”
As tennis has started to grow in the community the results are starting to be seen at the high school level. Both the Greyhounds and the Eagles sent representatives to the CIF Championships last week and the Bearcat girls finished tied for third in the Mountain League this year behind the Hounds.
"After wrapping up our best finish in eight years at the Big West Tournament last season, it’s been a delight to see our fan base (especially in the North County!) continue to grow,” Cal Poly Women’s Head Tennis Coach Katharina Winterhalter said. “Our partnership with the Paso Robles Sports Club has meant a lot to our team and we enjoyed our 3rd annual Pro-Am event on Sunday, Oct 28. It’s been with your support that Cal Poly Women’s Tennis has grown stronger.”
The Paso Robles Sports Club runs boys and girls tennis lessons all year long and anyone interested should contact Amy Barber at [email protected]