City holding tennis classes, tournaments

Columbus Parks and Recreation is getting ready to host its third of four tennis summer sessions starting Wednesday at Donner Park.

The ages for the classes range from 4 to 16 years old. They last anywhere from two to four weeks, depending on the session. Tennis director Michael Burt will be leading the sessions, with help from three other coaches.

“We will focus on getting the kids comfortable with using the racquet in their hand and controlling the ball with the racquet,” Burt said. “We work on hitting the stroke with different kinds of spins.”

The Tiny Tots (ages 4 to 5) sessions are designed to improve the child’s motor skills through tennis related activities. The Little Hitters (ages 6 to 7) sessions are designed work on the child’s hand-eye coordination, while the Future Starts (ages 8 to 11) and Challengers (ages 12 to 15) sessions focus on preparing participants for match play.

This will be Burt’s 17th year participating with the tennis classes, and he also works with Tipton Lakes Athletic Club. The number of participants have doubled in the past two years for Tipton Lakes, but Burt said numbers have always been pretty consistent for these sessions. There has been a spike in the number participants in the 4-to-8-year-old range this year, though.

“When we first started, we had a few,” Burt said. “Then, we gained a little bit in the 2000s.”

Although a couple of classes are almost full, there is still room for people looking to register. Those interested should call Parks and Rec to ask about availability.

Meanwhile, registration starts Monday for the annual Columbus City Open Tennis Tournament is just around the corner, as well.

The junior and adult tournaments will be played simultaneously on the first two days. Both tournaments will start on July 29, with the junior event ending July 30. The adult tournament will end on August 2.

There will be multiple divisions, depending on age and ability. The registration deadline is noon July 12.

At a glance

What: Columbus Parks and Recreation tennis classes

When: Starting Wednesday

Where: Donner Park

Ages: 4 to 16

Session times: Visit http://columbusparksandrec.com/activities-and-programs/sports/tennis/

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Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.