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NEWS

Public Courts - Grand Opening In New Canaan CT
11-02-2004

New Canaan, CT
At the first annual New Canaan Community Platform Tennis Day on Saturday, October 30th, 2004, the Town of New Canaan, CT celebrated the grand opening of their new public platform tennis courts in Waveny Park. view full story here

First Selectwoman Judy Neville and Selectmen Paul Giusti and Johnny Potts were joined by Recreation Department employees and representatives from the Women’s, Men’s and Senior Men’s platform tennis leagues for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Judy then served the first ball, declaring the courts open for play. The grand opening included a drawing for paddle equipment, giveaways from local merchants, and refreshments. The highlight was an exhibition featuring #1 Dave Ohlmuller and John Milbank against #5 Mike Cochrane and #9 David Caldwell.

Following the festivities, Bob Considine and the Viking Academy held an instructional clinic. Local pro Sheri Shea joined Bob, John Milbank and Dave Ohlmuller in sharing their knowledge of the sport with four courts of enthusiastic players.

Steve Caccam, president of the platform tennis advisory board, said that in addition to publicly thanking town leaders, the event had two other objectives. “First, because paddle is such a great winter sport for the entire family, we really want to raise the visibility of the game and increase the participation here in town. Having some of the world’s best players here to conduct an exhibition will help us attract new players to the sport. Secondly, many of the current players in our leagues have told us that they would like to improve their skills. With the help of local merchants like Bob’s Sports, we were able to leverage their relationship with Viking and bring some of their top instructors here to New Canaan.”

The work of Steve Caccam, Ann Lobdell and Susan Lovejoy made the courts and the opening a reality. The entire community is indebted to them. Raffle prizes were donated by Bob’s Sports, New Canaan Ski & Sport and the APTA. Representatives from Bob’s Sports, Viking Athletics and the APTA were also on hand for the opening.

Earlier this year, the town’s Board of Selectmen, through a recommendation of the Park & Recreation Commission and the Recreation Department, approved the construction of three new platform tennis courts on a new site in Waveny Park. Park & Recreation Commission Chairman Dr. Mark DeWaele said that the dedication was a celebration of the collaborative public and private efforts of the last year. “Many individuals and groups wrote letters to town leaders and made presentations before various committees which demonstrated a lot of town-wide support for the project. The Park & Rec Commission and the Board of Selectmen were very impressed by the size and organization of the platform tennis playing community in New Canaan. These new courts will help us fulfill our charter to promote long and healthy lifestyles through active recreation.”

A longtime hotbed of platform tennis in Fairfield County, New Canaan is enjoying a resurgence of the sport’s growth as evidenced by the immense recent popularity of various leagues. Ann Lobdell, Co-Chair of the New Canaan Women’s Platform Tennis League commented, “In just a few short seasons, we have grown to 128 ladies playing in eight different flights, and we have a waiting list of teams wanting to join. The Senior Men’s Club has always had an avid group of players, and this year, the New Canaan Men’s Paddle League is expected to have a record 72+ men playing. Also, for the first time, New Canaan will field a “town” team to compete against many private clubs in neighboring Greenwich, Darien, and Wilton in the Fairfield County Platform Tennis League.”

For more information on New Canaan’s platform tennis courts, call the New Canaan Recreation Department at (203) 594-3600.







 

 


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