The Ben Bellamy Memorial Junior Open Tennis Tournament goes July 15-17, and those who would like to play must have their entries in by 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12.
Hosted by the Comox Valley Tennis Club and Comox Recreation Commission, the event features boys/girls singles for ages 12, 14, 16 and 18 and boys/girls doubles for ages 14, 16 and 18.
Registration is available online at www.cvtennis.com or www.tennisbc.org. Organizers say draw information will be posted online at www.cvtennis.com by July 14.
More information on the Tennis BC-sanctioned event is available by contacting Brenda Dean at 250-334-4014.
The tourney honours Ben Bellamy, who moved to the Comox Valley in 1989. The family home was just one block from the Anderton Park tennis courts and, with encouragement from his dad Chris, he quickly developed a love for tennis.
As with everything that Ben did, he gave it all he had. Night after night in the summer, Ben and his dad could be seen on the courts for hours on end.
Ben was a junior member of the Jericho Tennis Club in Vancouver since 1990 and attended several summer camps at the club, being coached by Gerry Macken. He also attended two summer camps in Whistler, being coached by Grant Connell and Glen Mitchibata.
At his peak, Ben reached the semifinals of the Stanley Park Junior Open, finals at the Nanaimo Junior Open, as well as winning two Comox Family Tournaments with his dad. Ben also started a racquet stringing business The Really Useful Stringer.
Ben spent his final summer working for the Comox Recreation Centre as a junior tennis coach, passing on to juniors his enthusiasm for the game. His kind, gentle nature made him an excellent teacher.
To Ben, sportsmanship was more important than winning and he played tennis as he lived his life, best summed up in his own words in a short story written shortly before his untimely death: “I hope that I could look back on my life and be proud of myself and not have any regrets.”
Ben Bellamy, aged 16, was killed by a reckless driver on Feb. 21, 1998.