WHEELING - The Oglebay Resort Tennis Complex will be part of the nation's biggest tennis event, Tennis Across America, Saturday, beginning at noon. The nationwide event, which is free to all participants, will involve thousands of players hitting countless tennis balls, according to Jeremy McClelland, director of tennis for the Wheeling Park Commission.
Beginners and advanced players, both youngsters and adults, as well as those who have never played tennis, are invited to Oglebay Resort to participate in the festivities.
The annual Tennis Across America program is sponsored by the United States Professional Tennis Association. Tennis Across America is a perfect way to kick start getting fit and learning a new sport. Tennis is a fitness activity for the entire family. Best of all, Tennis Across America is free.
Racquets will be provided for use during TAA to those who do not have them.
Activities at Oglebay will include introductory clinics for adults and youth of all ages. Experienced players are welcome to play for free as well.
Making use of all 10 clay courts at the Oglebay Resort is the goal of McClelland.
"Getting people on the tennis court is my primary goal. If they are there and have fun, they will want to come back,'' he said.
Getting kids to try tennis is key to the growth of the sport. According to Youth Tennis, "Tennis is fun for kids of all ages and levels; with a minimum risk of injury, the sport provides many social, health, and psychological benefits."
QuickStart and 10 and Under Tennis provide the chance for kids to learn tennis and have real fun doing it. These programs use racquets, balls, and courts that are sized for kids so that they enjoy the game right from the start.
Kid-sized equipment and courts, and balls that don't bounce over their heads, give kids the advantage they need to learn to play tennis. Age-appropriate lessons make sure that kids are successful.
The cooperative, no-pressure, learn-to-compete approach is key. A play-to-learn approach emphasizes the development of motor skills and a progression to teach racquet skills. Spontaneous, creative play is incorporated with the concept of "Kids first. Tennis second."
With various activities planned, the USPTA and McClelland hope to get the tri-state area excited about tennis.
"In recent years the number of players on the courts has dropped, but programs like this give me the chance to draw people to the sport I love," he said.
Established in 1990 by the USPTA, Tennis Across America is the original, free, grassroots lesson program. For additional information, contact McClelland at the Oglebay Tennis Shop at 304-243-4040.