Tennis players of all ages play in Special Olympics
     2013-07-25      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Fifty-nine tennis players ranging from ages 5 to 87 took to the Gering High School courts beginning Friday night and came up just minutes short of completing the Gering Tennis Association’s fourth annual 24-hour marathon to raise funds for Special Olympics.
Matt Palomo, GTA event co-coordinator and the GHS boys’ tennis coach, said the event “went very, very well.”

“ It was successful like every year. We had a lot of players participating as usual,” Palomo said. “It was a good time, good fellowship and it was for a good cause.“

Participants played for a minimum of one two-hour session, and Palomo said some played six hours in three different sessions.
“It was just awesome,” he said.

Members of the Gering High School tennis teams, coming off their first seasons last year, and GTA members were among those who participated and assisted Palomo in conducting the event.

Palomo said the event drew participants not only from the immediate area but also visitors from Omaha and members of his family who were visiting from Texas.

“Five juniors, from the ages of 10 and 13, stayed up with me for the whole tournament, and we also had two adults stayed with us,“ he added.

“They play off and on, you pick your spots, whenever we had a court available. The kids played off and on and a lot, and they had a really good time.”

Toward the end of the event late Saturday afternoon, storms with lightning forced Palomo to pull the final participants off the courts a little bit shy of 24 hours.

“About 5:30 or 5:45, it started getting gloomy and lightning, so we decided to call it just to be safe,” Palomo said. “It was almost done by then anyway.”

Palomo extended his thanks to Gering High School for the use of the tennis and restroom facilities and local media for coverage.

“We just want to have people playing for the cause, and whatever is raised is great,” Palomo said.

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