Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Getting fit on Winnipeg tennis courts

Cardio Tennis is a fun, social, group tennis-fitness program for
people of all ages and abilities. It’s more about getting a great,
high-energy workout than pure tennis technique.
(Source: Tennis Australia)

Tennis, anyone?

Dawn Peter, for the Winnipeg Sun


Tennis is one sport that’s open to everyone.

All ages and abilities can compete or just play for fun on many of the community courts around the city. Tennis Manitoba offers an eight-week program for both adults and kids to help learn the game.

Mark Arndt, executive director of Tennis Manitoba, said local interest in the sport is gaining, especially with Canadian athletes like Eugenie Bouchard competing and excelling on the world stage.

There are 130 courts in Winnipeg, but only some are up to standard, with no cracks or damages. Arndt said some of the courts are being resurfaced, but he thinks a “green team” is something the city can offer community centres to improve the quality of the playing surface.

Cleaning the court could be a good cardio workout like being the ball boy. A more popular way to work out, though, is “cardio tennis.” It’s like the tennis workout challenge featured on The Biggest Loser, where unskilled participants were introduced to the sport by an ex-tennis player.

Cardio tennis is a group lesson that allows people to play for 20 to 45 minutes with breaks for water. The intensity can pick up with the music, so drills for footwork and movement teach proper stance.

“All skill levels don’t need to know how to hold a tennis racquet,” said Arndt.

This is not for points. Forget your forehand and your backhand.

Right now, there are sessions offered by an experienced instructor at Glendale Golf Course on Thursdays.

“The guy is from Brazil with a huge tennis background,” said Arndt.

At the Norwood Community Centre, Brian, a fellow certified instructor, offers lunchtime tennis for office people on their break.

“People can’t wait to come back,” Arndt said, adding community centres reach out to their communities with posters and the web to promote local activities like tennis.

It’s one way to get started on the court. Movement counts.