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Tennis tournament in Darjeeling in the name of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa

Open tennis tournament at the Gymkhana Club Darjeeling
A three-day open tennis championship got underway in Darjeeling today to mark the 100th birth anniversary year of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. The event has been jointly organised by the Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Foundation and the Darjeeling Gymkhana Club.
More than 50 players are participating in the championship from places such as Delhi, Dehradun, Patna, Kolkata, Siliguri and even Bhutan. Talking about the tournament and its objectives, TNSF president Jamling Tenzing Norgay, son of the late Everester, said, “Our primary aim is to promote tennis in the hills. The sport has following and scope, but has not been promoted properly. We hope this open championship will help boost interest among local talents.”
Another reason Jamling cited the event was being held to commemorate his father’s centennial birth anniversary. “This year is the 100th birth anniversary year of my father and we (the Sherpa community) wanted to honour him in a fitting manner. Tennis in the hills is an upcoming sport and since my father always encouraged new sporting activities, we thought it best to promote the game by holding a tournament in his name,” said Jamling, who is himself an Everester.
Tenzing Noragy was born on May 29, 1914 and he and Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand were the first men ever to scale Mount Everest in 1953. He remained as the field director and adviser of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, which was established by Jawaharlal Nehru in the mountaineer’s honour, until his death in May 1986.
On May 29 of this year, the HMI held a programme to honour the mountaineer on his 100th birth anniversary. The event, however, was organised with minimal fanfare and some parts were even cancelled as a mark of respect to the 16 Sherpas who died in an avalanche in April while scaling Everest and also the three people who went missing at Kanchenjunga the following month.
Jamling further said efforts would be on to make the tournament an annual event. “Competitions in various sporting fields are organised in the hills every year, but tennis has not been in the limelight. Therefore, going by the current enthusiasm of both youths and veterans, we also intend to make the tournament an annual event to further promote the game here,” he said.
Seshmani Gurung, a club member and coordinator of the championship, said, “The Club has been organising a tennis tournament every year in April called Invitation Tournament since the last 16 years, but the new tournament will be play an added advantage in promoting tennis among the youths of the hills.”
Gurung also informed the club has been holding winter camps for tennis for youths under 19 years since the past two years.
The ongoing competition has four categories under the Men’s Open Single and the Veterans’ Open Single (age above 45), which carries cash prizes of Rs 20,000 for the winner and Rs 15,000 for the runner-up. Meanwhile, the Men’s Open Double and the Veterans’ Open Double has a cash prize of Rs 15,000 for the winner and Rs 10,000 for the runner-up. The Gymkhana Club has three courts and they will host 18 to 25 matches per day on an average to culminate in the finals on November 2.

Source: EOIC

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