LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - On any given evening, the tennis courts at Barbe High School, McNeese State University, and the Lake Charles Racquet Club are packed.
The demand for public access to this sport was heard loud and clear by the Ward 3 Recreation Board and they have answered, with the addition of several beautiful new tennis courts that will open this weekend at Ward 3 Power Centre and Huber Park in Lake Charles.
The hope is to get people moving, while having a ball!
"We are trying to include every age group and dynamic for the health of our community," said Sally Fenet, president of the Ward 3 Recreation Board.
Fenet says it is thanks to voters approving a bond renewal in 2014 that keeps funds flowing for the 12 recreational parks and facilities in Ward 3, covering all of Lake Charles and the surrounding unincorporated areas.
"We have skate park for our young people, we have the tennis courts, we have swimming pools," said Fenet.
There are also baseball and soccer fields, indoor weight rooms, walking tracks, fitness classes - and now, the addition of tennis courts that Community Coordinator for Tennis, Ryan Beeson, says are much needed.
"Right now if you were to go and check out the public courts, there's not a lot, there's a couple in town and they're full at night," he said.
They're completely packed with people waiting. It's difficult to actually get a court."
Beeson says these additional courts will open up more people to a sport that he says is for all ages. He has coached an 80 plus year age range.
"Four is about the youngest on a court, the oldest: 87," he said. "He has been playing tennis pretty much his whole life and he still plays every day."
It is fun and fitness that Beeson says works out your entire body.
"It's cardio, it's core, it's arms, legs, it's everything," said Beeson. "Pretty much the whole time, you're running side to side, front to back, swinging."
Now, as opening day is set for Saturday, May 7, Beeson and Fenet could not be more proud about this new treasure for the community.
"This is my legacy to my grandchildren," said Fenet. "Probably the best thing I could ever do for them, my children and my grandchildren."
The official ribbon cutting and opening ceremonies for the tennis courts at Ward 3 Power Centre Parkway will happen Saturday morning at 9:00 A.M. There is a free junior tennis clinic at 10:00 and a free adult clinic at 11:30.
New tennis courts are also set to open Saturday at Huber Park in Lake Charles and University Park this summer.
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