By Michael Somerby EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – You hear it thrown around a lot: For the love of the game.
Typically, the idiom falls flat extending to just the singular athlete improving themselves for their love of the game. Others, like the Garapati brothers, put it into practice by sharing that love.
The Garapati brothers, Sujan, 16, and twins Akshay and Kiran, 14, hail from Chicago and visit Big Sky for a few weeks each year; they couldn’t help but notice that the tennis courts at the Big Sky Community Park go mostly unused.
“When I first came to Big Sky a couple of years ago … I never saw another kid on the court,” Sujan said. “It surprised me, being such a sporty town. I wanted to bring [tennis] here. I’ve made many good friends playing it and I’ll be able to play my entire life.”
With that in the back of his mind, Sujan and his brothers, all competitive, year-round tennis players, reached out to the Montana USTA and solicited resources from the USTA’s Net Generation initiative, a program dedicated to advancing the sport across the country, stewarding future generations of U.S. tennis players.
The brothers were enticed by just such a program in their native Chicago years ago.
“The first steps are key,” Sujan said. “Then I just fell in love with it. We play it every day.”
With special equipment provided by Net Generation, such as smaller racquets and lower-compression balls, kids can get a taste for the sport without being turned off by pieces of gear that do no favors. It’s all about making the sport accessible.
In addition, and with Big Sky Community Organization promotion, there will be prizes, snacks and drinks available for participants.
The brothers are hosting the Big Sky FITT (Fun Intro to Tennis) clinic at the Big Sky Community Park courts this Friday from 2-6 p.m. for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old—if only for the love of the game.
Visit https://www.signupgenius.com/go/508084CA4AF2CA4FF2-bigsky to register your child for the upcoming clinic.