Let's Play Paddle!

Put down that tennis racquet. From now through first week in April, it's paddle time.

The town Paddle Tennis Courts at Waveny Park opened for the season on Columbus Day, Oct., 11 and play will continue through the winter and up to the first week in April.  

The courts have been in their current location for four years. Billy Frick, who runs the tennis courts at Mead Park, has been Court Director for the paddle courts for the past two years. Frick told About Town, "The town's paddle courts had originally been over at the Lapham Community Center and had become very dilapidated.  It took two years to build the paddle hut and anyone that uses Waveny Park, like dog park visitors, walkers and joggers, can use the bathrooms and come inside to warm-up ."  The warming hut's hours are 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and again from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. to accomodate the Men's league, which usually play in the evenings.

Steve Benko, director of New Canaan's Recreation Dept. said people are still buying their passes. "There's always a bit of a lag before Columbus Day since people are still trying to squeeze in a little more regular tennis."  The Women's League started last week with about 160 women playing in seven flights, or levels.

 The Men's League begins their games during the first week of November.  Mr.Benko said, "The women try to get their Fall matches finished before the busy holiday season starts."  Obviously giving a nod toward who does most of the holiday shopping and preparations!

A woman's work is never done through the holiday season but when the new year begins, the women resume their league play in January.  The courts are made of metal and have gas burners that can be turned on to melt ice and snow on the surface, allowing the heartiest to play through the coldest winter weather.

About Town, caught up with several members of the Senior Men's Group of New Canaan who had just left the courts to chill out in the wonderful renovated warming hut.  Jack Brophy said  he "likes the coffee and the camaraderie.  It is also very important to wear colorful clothing."  A nod to the bright orange shirt worn by Steve Rowley who, along with Stephanie Dayton, was the architect for the hut's rennovation. These gentlemen -- and fellow Senior Men's Club members Bob Witt and Craig Wright -- enjoy playing together every weekday morning from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

Anyone who would like to get a pass to play paddle tennis should contact the Recreation Department at 203-594-3600


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