Camps keep tennis players in Steamboat Springs Swinging through the holidays | SteamboatToday.com

Camps keep tennis players in Steamboat Springs Swinging through the holidays

The Steamboat Tennis Association will offer "Taste of Tennis" holiday camp Dec. 27 and 28 with hopes of introducing young players to the game of tennis. The event is one of several that will be offered at the Tennis Center at Steamboat Spring over the holidays.

— The Steamboat Springs Tennis Association and the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs will serve up plenty of tennis action this holiday season in hopes of both inspiring beginners and keeping tennis enthusiasts on the court into the new year.

"A lot of our players will be on a long holiday break," said Loretta Conway, business director and teaching professional for the Tennis Center. "These camps offer a good opportunity to keep up with tennis."

With leagues taking a break for several weeks surrounding the holidays, the Steamboat Tennis Association and the Tennis Center plan to offer several camps in an effort to keep local players on the court.

The annual "Taste of Tennis" holiday camp, hosted by the Steamboat Tennis Association, will take place Dec. 27 and 28. The camp is free and is designed for beginning tennis players between the ages of 5 and 18.

"The kids have a great time," said Warren Luce, executive director of the Steamboat Tennis Association. "There is a lot of herding of cats, and at times, it's pure chaos. But we have lots of volunteers who keep things organized and fun."

Luce said the camp fits the mission of the non-profit tennis association: to bring tennis to the community — especially to young people.

"We normally get 75 to 100 children out for the camp," Conway said. "We put out mini-nets, play on short courts and keep things moving so that there is never a line."

Players between age 5 and 11 will be on the courts starting at 9 a.m., and players between age 12 and 18 will begin at 10:30. Each camp lasts an hour, and all are free. Conway added, however, that interested players or their parents should call the Tennis Center at 970-879-8400 and sign up, so that organizers can plan for the number of players attending. Players are invited to attend one or both sessions.

The camp is special to Luce, who began playing at age 30 and said he wishes he had been introduced to the game at a younger age.

"This is a great opportunity for young people to come out and see if they like it. It's a great game that you can play your entire life. You can't play football when you are 70, and it might be a little hard to play hockey. But, I play tennis in a league once a week, and my wife usually gets me out at least once in the middle of the week."

Conway agrees the camp is a great way to introduce young players to the game. Players who take part in the camp will also be offered a buy-one, get-one-free offer to take part in the Tennis Center's ROGY Mountain Tennis after school tennis program. Participants who enroll in the program for one month will receive the next month free thanks to the Steamboat Tennis Association.

Not all the Tennis Center camps slated for the holiday will geared toward beginners.

The Tennis Center will also offer camps for adults and advanced juniors from noon to 2 p.m. or 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 20 through 22 and Dec. 27 through 29. The camps are $30 per day, $75 per week or $140 for both weeks.

There will also be junior holiday camps for orange, green and yellow players from 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 27 through 29 and Jan 3 through 5. Cost of the camps is $75 per day, $200 per week or $350 for both weeks.

Conway said the Tennis Center is encouraging people to visit the courts during the holidays. Regular league play will begin Jan. 9.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966