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Public Courts Open In Glen Ellyn
12-26-2006
Glenn Ellyn

Glen Ellyn, IL
Two new platform tennis courts are ready for some action at Maryknoll Park in Glen Ellyn, one of the first suburbs to offer the sport. “I think that we’re trying to reach to people that just don’t enjoy volleyball, basketball or softball, and this is a good way to continue your tennis outdoors in the winter,” said Mary Defiglia, the Glen Ellyn Park District’s assistant superintendent of recreation. full story reprinted from beepcentral.com

 

beep Hafsa Naz Mahmood | Daily Herald
Wednesday, December 13, 2006


reprinted from:
http://www.beepcentral.com/story.aspx?story=9878

Kurt Kopp, of Hoffman Estates, right, uses a specially designed perforated solid raquet to deaden the ball's flight, during a match with Scott Foster, left, of Glen Ellyn. These new courts in Glen Ellyn have heaters under the surface which keeps snow melted on the raised surface, so play can continue in winter.

Digg!
Platform tennis is the name of the game, and winter’s the season to play.

Two new platform tennis courts are ready for some action at Maryknoll Park in Glen Ellyn, one of the first suburbs to offer the sport.

It combines tennis and racquetball and is played on an elevated, aluminum deck surrounded by a 12-foot-tall superstructure with fencing that allows people to play off the walls. A heating system that melts ice off the deck’s surface is enclosed in the court’s base.

“I think that we’re trying to reach to people that just don’t enjoy volleyball, basketball or softball, and this is a good way to continue your tennis outdoors in the winter,” said Mary Defiglia, the Glen Ellyn Park District’s assistant superintendent of recreation.

The only other public platform tennis court in DuPage County is in Hinsdale, and Glen Ellyn now has one of four public courts in Illinois.

The Naperville Park District has been discussing building these courts for more than a year, but Community Development Project Manager Sue Omanson said officials still are looking for grants that could fund such an outdoor facility.

Although public courts are still relatively rare, several private facilities in the region also offer the sport. Some have been around for quite some time.

Geneva Golf Club, for example, has had a pair of private courts for more than 40 years. Golf Course Superintendent Ed Braunsky said the game’s popular from October through April.

“It’s good exercise for the members in the winter time when golf and tennis are out of season,” he said.

Dave Scarmardo, recreation superintendent for the Glen Ellyn park system, said the idea of platform tennis courts in the village was first proposed by a group of residents years ago.

At the time, there was no funding for such a project, but last year, when the district got an open space grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, it spiced up a handful of things at Maryknoll Park and added platform tennis to the mix. The courts opened to the public Nov. 20.

Both courts in Glen Ellyn have lighting systems that’ll allow people to get into the groove of the sport after dark.

Defiglia said the key is to dress for winter.

“The only thing we really recommend is gym shoes,” she said. “And most people will dress in layers because you start out cold and you’ll start taking (layers) off as you’re sweating.”

Marty Engel of Glen Ellyn said he’s thrilled about the new courts and spending more time with his family, since he no longer has to drive to Hinsdale to play.

The 33-year-old especially enjoys the social aspect of the game, the fact that it’s an outdoor sport during the cold, and, of course, the competition.

“I’m really, really excited,” he said. “I think it’s a sport that a lot of people, once they get the opportunity to get out to play, will be bit by the bug as I was a few years back, and I really enjoy the sport.”

The district is offering free introductory play on the courts through Thursday. But memberships, which are $50 for an individual and $150 for a family of four, will be required for athletes from Friday through May 31.

Adult leagues and lessons will be available for varying prices, and activities are open to nonresidents. If athletes don’t have their own gear, they can purchase or rent equipment from Spring Avenue Recreation Center.

A half-dozen nationally ranked professionals also are expected to give free lessons to the general public Dec. 26 through Jan. 7.

“This is a great way for people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors, stay physically fit, and also it’s a great social activity,” Defiglia said. “I think people are really going to be surprised how much fun this game is.”

 
 

 

 

 






 

 

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