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Tennis club opens court to all levels

Created date

July 27th, 2010
Welcoming players of all levels,Greenspring stennis club provides an unbeatable opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and a little friendly competition. [caption id="attachment_13550" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Ardent tennis club members Shirley Shifflett and Harry Williams double up in one of the biweekly games at Hooes Road Park in Springfield, Va. (Photo by Jason Connors)"][/caption] Members of the tennis club travel to nearby Hooes Road Park, a Fairfax County park located minutes from theGreenspringcampus. The park is wonderful, says tennis club founder Shirley Shifflett. There are four courts, each with new nets, and we have never had a problem getting a space to play. It s very easy to get to the park fromGreenspring, so it is a wonderful option for tennis lovers. During the winter months, many members of theGreenspringtennis club play pickleball, a game similar to tennis that is played on a smaller indoor court using a wiffle ball and paddles. But the best part about our tennis club is the ability to go and play outdoors we look forward to it after a winter spent inside, says Shifflett. The park is so pretty, and it s great to get the fresh air. We often see geese, and the trees are really beautiful.

A little friendly competition

Because of the group s lack of formality and welcoming spirit, any member of theGreenspringcommunity may join in on the fun. [caption id="attachment_13549" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Hank Morin shows off his winning serve. (Photo by Jason Connors)"][/caption] Everyone is very friendly, and no one is overly competitive, says tennis club member Madalyn Gilligan. We place more emphasis on enjoying the exercise and fresh air than on winning the game. In that spirit, members get together and play every Monday and Friday. Our time is usually flexible, based on the weather, says Shifflett. We ll meet at 7:30 a.m. on hot summer days and up to 9 a.m. when the weather is more moderate. I always call interested players to let them know when we are getting together. The play is very casual, according to club member and tennis lover Marguerite Church. Sometimes 4 players show up; other times, it s as many as 12, she says. We rotate around and make adjustments on the spot. Depending on how many people there are, members play doubles, mixed doubles, or other takes on the game. If we have five players show up, then we play a version of the game where the server rotates out, says Shifflett. It s important to us that everyone is given an opportunity to play, says Gilligan. We also play a game called ghost, with two players against one server. The server can hit the ball anywhere, while the [other] players have to hit back into the quadrant where the server served from. That keeps the server from running all over the court. While nobody takes the game too seriously, there is the occasional rivalry. Several times, the group has competed againstRiderwood,Greenspring ssister community in Silver Spring, Md.

Healthier life

Greenspring stennis club is one of many ways members of thecommunitystay healthy and fit. We have an extremely active population committed to maintaining or improving their level of fitness, says Wellness Manager Brad Hibbs. There are so many different opportunities to go to the fitness center, swim, or walk, says Shifflett. There is an excellent walking path near the creek, a putting green, and driving range. For me, tennis is a great way to get out and have fun. The people who play are a nice group. I always look forward to playing.

Tennis for the health of it!

Tennis enhances wellness for seniors by bolstering the immune system, according to the United States Professional Tennis Association. It also builds bone health and aids in the prevention of osteoporosis. In addition, playing tennis may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and promote a lifetime of continuing neurological development.