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Summit abounds with tennis clinics

Shauna Farnell

Pros and avid players attest to the beauty of tennis as a lifelong sport, and encourage young people to get an early start.

Local schools are letting out for the summer and several young people will be left without a routine. The Breckenridge and Silverthorne recreation centers as well as the Keystone Tennis Proshop kick off summer youth tennis clinics next week and welcome young people to try their hand at the sport.

“As the USTA (United States Tennis Association) puts it, it’s a sport for a lifetime,'” said Breckenridge Recreation Center tennis pro Dave Turrin. “It’s one of those sports you play your whole life, even when you reach old age.”

The Breck Rec Center hosted a USTA-sanctioned tournament last weekend that featured more than 100 longtime 3.5-4.5 rated players from throughout Colorado. The center offers adult clinics to refine stroke skills and technique as well as beginner classes.

“Each group works on skills within the range of the group,” Turrin said. “Some groups are strong in one area, weak in another. The classes run the gamut from mechanics to movement, tactics to competition.”

The youth programs begin with fundamental skills, and start courses for interested players as young as 4 years old.

“We do hand-eye coordination skills, basically give them the experience on the tennis court and get them exposed to the sport,” Turrin said. “A lot of kids stick with it every summer, but it’s not always for everyone.”

The youth programs at Breck and at the Silverthorne Rec Center offer classes multiple times a week.

“Our rug rackets group is our biggest draw,” said Silverthorne sports recreation coordinator Joanne Breigenzer of the tennis programs’ 4-6-year-old group. “We make it fun and try to adapt them to tennis.”

Silverthorne’s programs are up-and-coming, and for the first time, are associated with the Colorado Association for Recreational Athletes.

Keystone’s programs are taught by five tennis pros, and are ongoing throughout the summer with advanced clinics available on a year-round basis.

“The advanced programs basically consist of hitting a lot of balls,” said Keystone tennis pro Ted Gramatikas. “It’s a great deal. For both (adult and junior programs) we have a lot of repeats. We see a bunch of local players.”

Keystone will host the Summit County Open later this summer, and the Breck Rec Center will host a tournament fund-raiser in July for the Breckenridge Festival of Film.

Shauna Farnell can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at sfarnell@summitdaily.com.


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