A local organization is looking to expand tennis offerings in Enterprise and surrounding areas.
The Enterprise Tennis Association (ETA), a community tennis association within the Alabama Tennis Association and United States Tennis Association, will offer several programs throughout summer to youth, adults and those with adaptive needs as the Wiregrass Tennis Academy (WTA).
An inaugural schedule for WTA was recently released, and it offers “a comprehensive program of private lessons, small group clinics and summer camps, as well as playing opportunities for juniors and adults,” according to a press release.
Clinics for juniors and adults will run on specified dates throughout the summer.
The first summer clinic session has already begun, but Frank Zerbinos, manager of the ETA, said players can still participate and pay a prorated amount.
Junior clinics for players under 10 are held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 5 p.m. Players under 12 meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 5 p.m. A junior girl’s clinic will also be offered for players between the ages of 10 and 16 on Mondays from 5 to 6 p.m.
Ladies beginner clinics are held each Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The first clinic is free with no obligation.
Men’s beginner clinic times are based on availability.
According to Frank Zerbinos, clinics are delivered on a four-week schedule. Pricing for the full four weeks is $60 for members of the Enterprise Tennis Association; $65 for non-members.
The second summer clinic session will begin on July 8 and conclude on Aug. 1.
Adaptive/special needs camps, through Advantage Enterprise, will be offered in July. The first will take place from July 8- 11, from 6-7 p.m. each day. The second will take place on July 21 and from Aug. 1-6, from 6-7 p.m. each day.
Summer camps for juniors are also offered, and other adult programs -- including a cardio tennis clinic and several other skill development and match play clinics -- are also offered.
Private lessons from skilled coaches are also available.
Free private or group lessons, along with one free scheduled session of a group clinic or one free day of a regularly scheduled camp are offered, as well.
“That’s really to gauge your interest,” Zerbinos said. “You can come out and try it and decide if you like or not.”
In April 2019, Enterprise Tennis Association - a non-profit organization -- entered into a three-year management agreement with the City of Enterprise to operate a tennis program using courts at Donaldson Park.
Zerbinos said the ultimate goal is to generate interest in tennis and create a bigger player base in Enterprise and other areas of the Wiregrass.
“We want people to get interested in tennis,” Zerbinos said. “It’s nice to see the kids enjoy it, and we love to see the kids do well. I tell people all the time -- this is not about the Enterprise Tennis Association, this is about Enterprise tennis.”
The program can also benefit the school system, Zerbinos said, because tennis has not had a feeder program in the area.
“There’s really been no organized way to get kids interested in the sport and give them a place to play and develop their skills,” Zerbinos said. “This can give students a place to work year round, and it’s a way to help build something to help the sport grow.”