Tennis doubles partners Ken Miller and Tony Pole didn’t need to know each other very well to achieve success at the 2013 Alberta 55 Plus Summer Games in Westlock and Barrhead July 25 to 28.
Miller, of Sylvan Lake, and Pole, of Red Deer, earned a silver medal in men’s doubles, despite having never played with each other before the start of the tournament.
“We just sort of met by chance, and we were both looking for a partner to go into these games,” said Miller. “So we sort of fell on each other, and we played well together.”
Miller and Pole, although they come from very different tennis backgrounds — Pole has played the sport for more than 40 years, Miller for five — didn’t take long to get to get to know each other’s playing style.
A loss in zone finals to Innisfail, however, meant their hopes of playing in the summer games looked as though they would go unrealized.
It was then that they received notice of a vacancy for Zone 6 and were asked if they still wanted to compete at the games.
“They asked us if we wanted to go and we said yes,” said Miller. “Because they had space for another team from Edmonton, they were able to get us in.”
At the tournament, Miller and Pole defeated the Innisfail team that they lost to at zone finals.
That team was one of several the pair faced over the course of the competition.
“We played quite a few games of tennis,” said Miller. “There was some really good competition, and it was just fun to get out and play that much tennis with people that you haven’t played with.”
Miller had good things to say about the tournament and the towns in which it was hosted.
“It was extremely well organized,” he said. There was a lot of administrative, logistical things that go into making these things happen, and a lot of volunteers.
“They had a really good showing for that.”
Miller assured that he and Pole, thanks to their summer games success, will definitely team up on the court again in the future.