Lidsters headed to Palm Springs

The Lidsters have decided that now is the time to get serious about their children's future in tennis.

Like really, really serious.

Amanda and Zach Lidster, two of the more successful current junior players in these parts, are moving, along with parents Jerome and Kristina, to Palm Springs for as many as five months to further their tennis careers.

The family is to move in September, with a return date tentatively scheduled for January, just in time for Amanda and Zach to re-enroll at Sa-Hali Secondary.

"I have a lot of room to excel, I just don't have the coaching here to do that," said Zach, 15, who will be starting Grade 10 by correspondence in September. "I think I'll be a better player when I come back."

The main focus of the move is to get both Lidster children more practice in high quality events, the likes of which aren't provided often around here, and to get some exposure for American colleges.

Amanda is set to graduate in the fall, and has her eyes on getting a scholarship.

"I want to get noticed down there," said Amanda, 17. "Hopefully a school will notice me and invite me to the team. That's my goal - to get a scholarship."

The Lidsters will be partaking in tournaments in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas, but also may be looking at tournaments as far east as Texas, depending on availability.

It's a big move, and not one the Lidsters are taking lightly.

"I'm excited to get the new experience under my belt, but nervous because I don't know what's going to happen," Amanda said. "Things will definitely be tougher down there."

The next event for the Lidster children - and last of the summer season - is the Kamloops Tennis Association's Sunshine Open, which goes Friday through Sunday.

The summer season hasn't been kind to Amanda or Zach, at least in their own minds.

"It was all right," Amanda said. "I feel like I should have done better. I qualified for nationals this year but I'm not going because I'm training for California and I've been (to nationals) twice before."

"I'm not really happy (with the summer)," Zach said. "The outdoor season - I didn't do as well as I think I should have done."

When they get to Palm Springs, Amanda and Zach will be looking to get some training from Leif Nordlund, the professional at Woodhaven Country Club.

The key thing is getting some practice in with some top quality players.

"We're training with a good coach and we're going to be playing in lots of tournaments," Zach said. "We'll be hitting around down there, getting good competition.

"I'm running out of guys to hit with - in Kamloops, there really isn't a lot of hard hitters."

mhunter@kamloopsnews.ca

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