SAN DIEGO /PRNewswire/ — Public park tennis in San Diego began a hundred years ago this month when players raised $5,000 to build what is now the Balboa Tennis Club. The number one racket sport in the country is also the fastest-growing, with 6.8 million new and returning tennis players in 2020 alone—a growth spurt of 22%. Research claims it adds ten years to a player’s lifespan; data also reveals it to be the safest sport to play during a pandemic.
One of the main hubs of public park tennis—Peninsula Tennis Club—is located at Robb Field Park in Ocean Beach. Home to Point Loma High School tennis, Peninsula also serves 1300 other tennis enthusiasts and wears many hats within the tennis community.
USTA League Coordinator Randie Lettington: “San Diego has enjoyed double digit participation increases for the past 6 years…Peninsula Tennis Club alone has over 23 USTA teams in 2022.”
Women’s Fall/Winter Tennis League Commissioner Eileen Carroll (who runs the 40-year league out of Peninsula with four other members): “our league accommodates between 35 and 45 teams (depending on the season), each with a roster of 20-30 players each.”
Starting August 5th, Peninsula will assist Barnes Tennis Center for the twelfth straight year as it hosts the National Girl’s 16-18 Tennis Championships; the winners receive an automatic berth into the U.S. Open (held late in August).
Tennis clinics have never been busier for Bob Simmons, in his 24th year teaching at Peninsula. “I teach seven groups of 30 students each week, which is all I can reasonably handle; this past Wednesday [July 20] we had 60 people sign up.” The numbers have helped the nonprofit completely renovate over the past five years, with new windscreens, nets, LED lighting, and fully resurfaced courts.
Peninsula Tennis members meet with city officials today (July 22) to discuss building dedicated pickleball courts within Robb Field. 30% of pickleball players do not play tennis, and erroneously believe pickleball is played on a tennis court. Pickleball is actually a separate game with its own special court; tennis patrons will attempt to help this fledgling group achieve individual status.
SOURCE The Third Option