Own a Racquet? Want to enter a Journalists’ Tennis Championship?

The 24th European Journalists’ Tennis Championships (and 42nd Austrian Journalists’ Championships) will be played in Portschach, Austria from May 7 to 10.

Stadium at Portschach

There aren’t many (any?) international sports competitions for journalists but tennis has held world and regional championships for sports and general journalists for years. It began in 1977 during the Italian Journalists’ Tennis Championships in Venice. The Italian Association of Tennis Journalists president Elio Marsano advanced the idea of an international association and a world tournament for journalists.

In 1978 the International Association of Sports Journalists and the Lido Tennis Club in Venice hosted the first international tennis tournament for journalists with six nations and 60 journalists answering the call.

The next year the Association of International Tennis Journalists was formally created with statutes declaring that only full time journalists and former journalists could participate in the championships.

In the 34 years since that beginning, 14 nations have hosted a World Tennis Championships for journalists with Canada hosting on one occasion — in Aurora, Ontario.

25 nations have sent journalists to compete over the years.

The deadline for entering the 2012 European and Austrian Championship at Portschach in May is April 27. For more information on these events and on the World Championships, you can contact Canada’s most active participant in the World Journalists’ Tennis Championships over the years — Alec Bollini, a member of the Sports Media Canada Board of Directors (alec_bollini@yahoo.com). The 2012 World Championships are scheduled for Tuscany in September — sound good?

Or call up the website www.tennis4media.org for a list of hotels and resorts and an entry form for the European Championships to be played in the Werzer Stadium in Portschach where Austrian Davis Cup matches have been staged.