Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 7, 1974 · Page 25
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 25

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 7, 1974
Page 25
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Tennis 'Courts' Youngsters . . . For Beginners' Classes Guy Elmore Eye* Ball By Sandy Wells Today's beginner . . . tomorrow's Hie Nastase or Billie Jean King. Or, everybody has to start sometime. And for hundreds of Kanawha Valley youngsters, the "sometime" is this particular summer. Whether their goal is championship play or just plain fun, the dozens upon dozens of young people who have enrolled in beginners tennis classes exemplify, without question, the ever increasing popularity of the game. According to Russ Rollyson, a teacher in the Tennis Inc. mass summer instructional program, the best time to begin was yesterday. "The younger you start, the better you'll be." he says, simply. "Chris Evert started at 6. All it takes is" strength enough to hold a racquet and a long enough attention span." Although the Tennis Inc. program is aimed at an 8 to 18-year-old age range. Rollyson confesses he's had a couple of six and seven-year-old students. "I wish I had started that young myself," he says. "I was 10, but 1 definitely wish I had taken it up sooner. There's a lot of future now in playing professional tennis, you know. Much more than 10 years ago. Used to be. everything was geared toward baseball. Now you see more and more boys out on the courts." The beginners classes meet for an hour each day for two weeks. A new session opens Monday, but approximately 350 youngsters have participated in each of the first two sessions alone. Beginners concentrate on the forehand, backhand, the serve and volley, "just the basic strokes," says Rollyson, "and occasionally we work in some strategy. The main thing is just getting good enough to hit the ball over the net. Hitting against a wall helps a lot. too. Practice is the whole thing." A bimedical engineering student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Rollyson says his summer job is rewarding and enjoyable, although not without frustrations. "Sometimes I have to stop and consider the age group I'm dealing with, but boy, those kids try awful hard. It's a great feeling to see them hit that first ball over the net." Lawrence Pierce took the pictures on this page while watching one of the beginners classes in action. And while these first steps toward tennis prowess have, their thrills, they aren't, as these photographs indicate, without spills. Instruction is offered at various locations in Charleston and South Charleston, as well as at Herbert Hoover High School, East Bank. DuPont and St. Albans high schools. The current.session closes July 19. Then, both beginners and intermediates who have had instruction this summer will be eligible for a Tennis Inc. tournament July 22-27. There also will be a special session for advanced students. Enrollment will be by invitation to those youngsters who have shown the most potential. Photos By Lawrence Pierce . . . i r h i n J c / W G o t f t Chart 1C rginia Sun. July 7,1974 .. .Ooops! And They Call This Fun ? DETERMINED EXPRESSION CAN BE HELP WL Kathy Evans Makes the Connection Tetmf* Harrier Than I ThougK*

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