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Agnes Water students have a ball at Brisbane International

Agnes Water State School students Laef Rupp, Edison Rodgers, Marc Lumagbas-Smith and Ari McCollum posing in front of the Pat Rafter Arena.
Agnes Water State School students Laef Rupp, Edison Rodgers, Marc Lumagbas-Smith and Ari McCollum posing in front of the Pat Rafter Arena. Contributed

TENNIS: A group of lucky Agnes Water State School students have already been on the best excursion of the year - and school doesn't start until later this month.

The group attended the Brisbane International Schools Challenge, a mixed team competition for Queensland primary schools, held at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

Clinton SS and Gladstone West SS also took part in the January 4-7 competition, as did St Joseph's Catholic Primary School from Biloela.

Agnes Water State School student Maxi Wood stands tall in front of Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane.
Agnes Water State School student Maxi Wood stands tall in front of Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane. Contributed

Agnes Water tennis coach Angie Draheim said the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they got to rub shoulders with some of their tennis idols.

"The kids got to see the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Alex De Minaur, Ash Barty and Ryan Harrison all practising on the courts right beside where they were playing, so they got a few autographs and selfies,” she said.

"None of them had been to a tournament like that before so to see these people who are on their television screens right there, and to be able to sit court-side watching them train for matches, was just a real eye-opener and experience.”

Australian player Gavin Van Peperzeel happily poses with Agnes Water State School players Zak Rohrlach and Logan Ward at the Queensland Tennis Centre.
Australian player Gavin Van Peperzeel happily poses with Agnes Water State School players Zak Rohrlach and Logan Ward at the Queensland Tennis Centre. Contributed

The experience became more exhilarating for the Green Ball students, who were fortunate enough to make their way onto centre court.

"They were introduced to the crowd on Friday night but some of my players managed to worm their way into Pat Rafter Arena,” Draheim said.

"One of my students just walked in and was amazed, the guy on the door knew Agnes Water (State School) when I volunteered there five years ago, so he just said 'go in there and have a look'.

"So they got to see some of the action on the inside which was amazing.”

The school took an Orange Ball team (students up to grade 5) and Green Ball team (up to grade 6) to the event, with the Green team claiming second in the Wide Bay region.

Topics:  agnes water state school brisbane international (tennis) pat rafter arena tennis queensland



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