Security A Concern As Tournament Kicks Off - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Security A Concern As Tournament Kicks Off

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by Janet Kim

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennis players served up for a major fundraiser on Saturday that helps children. The Music City Tennis Invitational got underway this weekend.

The tennis tournament is the primary fundraising event of the year for Vanderbilt's Center for Child Development. As a major sporting event amid the recent terror attacks at the Boston Marathon, security wasn't far from the minds of participants. 

On this sunny afternoon in Nashville, tennis players hit the courts at the Brownlee O. Currey Jr. Tennis Center for the 40th annual Music City Tennis Invitational. 

"This is the longest running music-related charity in our country," said Tournament Director Bill Riddle. 

Each year the event draws in big names for a good cause, like former Titans' player Kenny Amato. 

"I think we see the same faces year and year out," said Amato. 

However, players were thinking about more than just tennis. 

"I know everybody was aware of the situation and what's gone on, and everybody is wishing everyone in Boston the best," said Amato. 

The situation in Boston had organizers and participants on high alert. 

"I have three children of my own and it did cross my mind since we had to do a different parking route because there was a run going on here this morning and that made me think of it and say my own little prayer inside," said Kendall Womble, who was playing in the event. 

As one of the biggest sporting events in Nashville since the bombings, organizers said they reevaluated security measures and emergency plans. 

The goal was to provide security without jeopardizing the spirit of the game. 

"I'm not going to let someone else scare me into doing what we're here you know to do, to raise money for children," said Womble. 

The children she was talking about are the ones who need the Center for Child Development, which serves families affected by developmental and learning differences. 

Organizers said a record 148 people are signed up this year. The tournament goes on through Sunday. 


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