With the new tennis courts at East Ridge High School just about completed and ready for the public to use, I plan to go as much as I can!
This is very exciting because these courts have been in disrepair for many years. The 2013-2014 ERHS tennis team was forced to play all their matches at the Brainerd complex courts. That was the last year the school had a tennis team. I am hoping with the new courts, East Ridge can get back into a sport that has so much to offer.
Tennis is a sport that can be taught to children at young ages due to the USTA program for kids called NET GENERATION. Net Generation is a celebration of a game where no one sits on the sidelines. Tennis is easy to learn and tailored for all ages and abilities, giving kids a game that will help them build friendships and learn skills they’ll use for life.
Tennis is one of the cheapest sports kids and adults can play. Soccer, football, and other school sports can be very expensive. In tennis, one can get a good racket for less than $100 and a can of tennis balls for less the $4. That’s it, your ready to play!
So many contact sports can be dangerous for our children, broken bones, pulled muscles and in some cases brain trauma. Tennis is the safest sport I can think of besides golf, but who can afford golf and all that includes … clubs, bags, green fees and so on?
The adult population of the city can pick up tennis at any age. For older adults, playing doubles matches are best because there is so much less court to cover for each player. The exercise one can get on the courts is very beneficial for aging bodies. It is lower impact for joints and maintaining bone health.
With the climate in our city, one can play tennis pretty much year round. If it is very cold, the ball tends to bounce less but our temps are rarely too cold to play. Wind can be a factor, but tennis is played in all wind conditions as well. The rain can make the painted lines slippery so even in a slight shower, one must discontinue play.
Finally, why I play tennis? It is in my genes, no kidding. My grandmother, Virginia Dueker, was the winner of the first United States Public Parks Champion in 1930! This was the first year that women were allowed to play in the national tournament. She repeated two years later and also won the doubles that year. I am so proud of her dedication to the sport and her support for my Mom playing competitive tennis.
This from the Website of the National Public Parks Tennis Association history.
Later, the National Public Parks Tennis Association was formed and a standing committee for the Public Parks was made a part of the USNLTA By-Laws and remained so until the mid-seventies. The first National Public Parks Tournament (men only) was hosted by the city of St. Louis, Missouri in 1923 and established the United States Municipal Championships. Men’s champion was Cranston W. Holman of San Francisco, California and the doubles champions were Elmer Schwarts and Ted Heuerman. The women’s first championships were held in 1930 in Washington, D.C. at the White House during President Hoover administration, Virginia B. Dueker of St. Louis, Missouri was the champion. In the early days the USNLTA both men’s and women’s champions were invited to play in the United States National Open Championships until open tennis debuted in 1968.
So tennis is in my genes and my son plays as well!
_ Laura Mathis