September 2, 2013

MTA makes pitch to attract tennis players

In an effort to bring in new players, the Maine Tennis Association is holding a Free Tennis Night.

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

The Maine Tennis Association is putting out a call for adult tennis players.

FREE TENNIS NIGHT

Clubs participating Friday in Free Tennis Night in Maine, for those aged 18 and over:

Armstrong Tennis Center, Bangor: 942-4836

Ellsworth Tennis Club, Ellsworth: 664-0400

Mid Coast Rec Center, Rockport: 236-9400

Racket & Fitness Center, Portland: 775-6128

Boothbay Region YMCA: 633-2855

Champion's Fitness, Waterville: 873-0571

Maine Pines, Brunswick: 729-8433

Central Lincoln County YMCA: 563-9622

The Woodlands Club, Falmouth: 781-3104

This Friday at nine indoor facilities around the state, free court time is available for those looking either to return to competitive play or to give tennis a try for the first time.

"The only thing they need is a pair of sneakers and a good attitude," said Ron Friedman, past president of the MTA and chair of the Free Tennis Night In Maine committee.

"The reason behind this is to attract new players and to give players who have left the game an opportunity to come back. We're always trying to grow the game, and unfortunately, the majority of tennis players are baby boomers. As we age out, it's difficult to attract that group of adults who are 25 to 45."

Maine currently participates in USTA Leagues in four age divisions: 18-and-over, 40-and-over, 55-and-over and 65-and-over. All but the oldest division send teams on to district, sectional and national competitions.

To keep matches competitive, all players receive a rating based on their ability, from 2.5 to 5.0, and are grouped accordingly.

About 800 women and 350 men play league tennis in Maine, said Devi Maganti, the MTA board director and manager of the Racket and Fitness Center in Portland.

"Obviously, our goal is to promote tennis," Maganti said. "We want to recruit people for (USTA league play). Team stuff is fun."

Anyone interested in taking part is asked to register with the nearest facility. Starting times vary, but are generally between 6 and 7 p.m. "We want to be organized," Maganti said, "so we can try to accommodate whatever levels show up."

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

 

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