Taking a Small Step Forward Just Beginning

Editor, News-Register:

We spend so much time and energy complaining about our fair city, that when something positive takes place we don’t even see it. If we are to rebuild our community we must be aware of the positive things that happen and then start to build on them – as it is often said, a trip starts with the first step.

Problem is, when someone takes that first step, no one notices – thus the trip is all too short and non-productive. If we see that step and then someone takes a second step, and then a third – who knows where the trip will take us?

I have the pleasure of having seen that first step taken and I want to share it with you so the community can get on board and take a few more steps together. Now, this isn’t going to mean a whole lot to many of you, but keep it in context of that trip. For probably the last eight or so years, tennis in our valley has been on the decline – you might say it almost had a cardiac arrest and died. Why do I know this??Because I am a member of a group in Wheeling known as the “Ohio Valley Tennis Academy,” OVTA, and our founding members (of which there are 22), and it was the reason we were born. Our goal was to stop the slide and put tennis back on the road to recovery. I am proud to announce that goal is happening – as we speak.

I am not going to bore you with all the statistics that support my claim, but I will tell you that just our club alone, the OVTA, made over 3,300 tennis contacts last year. Not too shabby for a dying sport. This doesn’t include the activities of the Wheeling Oglebay Tennis Club, WOTC, of which their membership was down to 35 from a high of about 200 at one time. It is up to 190 today. Well done, WOTC.

The OVTA contacted Oglebay’s management team headed by Mr. Doug Dalby. We pleaded our case for the need to have Oglebay open up the tennis courts at Wheeling Park and after giving it proper consideration they did just that.

Now for those of you who have been saying for years that all Oglebay is concerned with is the out-of-town crowd and sacrificing locals for that cause – well, put it to bed, because this is a really big step for them and it is one of those positive steps I am talking about. We at the OVTA are proud to joint venture with Oglebay and are doing our part to take the next step – a few more steps and we could have a landslide – so stop thinking negatively and get on board with us.

Bill Blair

President, OVTA