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Grand Rapids Welcomes APTA/PPTA Clinic & Exhibition
OCTOBER 11, 2011
GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Clinics & Exhibitions Sponsored by Wilson
Grand Rapids, Michigan is the home to one of the most accoladed platform tennis players in the country, Flip Goodspeed. Before winning a record-tying eight APTA National Platform Tennis Championships with his partner Scott Mansager, Flip grew up as a well rounded athlete, having succeeded at both tennis and golf.
He was a three time state champion as a member of the tennis team and twice a runner-up as a member of the golf team. Reflecting on the active life-style of citizens of Grand Rapids, Flip takes pride in a number of accomplishments that his high school has achieved in a variety of sports over the years. Indeed, on a warm Saturday morning one could see families jogging (some with strollers) as well as biking to get their morning exercise. The combination of a cold winter climate so favorable for paddle and people for whom physical activity is a high priority makes Grand Rapids a fertile ground for platform tennis development. Therefore, the APTA took the initiative to provide a free clinic and exhibition to promote platform tennis in the area.
A warm and sunny October Saturday might not have been ideal for a National Ranking Tournament but it was a perfect condition for conducting an APTA clinic for newcomers. Kent Country Club greeted over 25 participants whose level ranged from those who never held the paddle before to players who have enjoyed the sport for years. The age range was also impressive as teenagers to seniors showed up. The teaching staff, consisting of Jason Love and David Bukowski from Chicago as well as Anton Mavrin from Long Island, conducted two separate clinics using three courts.
Each court represented a station where a certain aspect of the game was worked on. Serve-and-volley, lobs/push overheads, and tracking the ball/building the wall at the net was covered in detail. Later, during the point play, participants encouraged each other to shift to proper positions at the net, lobbed high and even used the screens to neutralize power of opponents! After the clinic ended , the APTA exhibition took place featuring Jason & David versus Anton & Flip. People watched the tight three set match from the balcony, having a lunch with a glass of beer and enjoying an inherent part of the sport - camaraderie!
Many thanks to the Kent Country Club and the Goodspeed family for planning, organizing and hosting the event. Also thanks to Wilson for its continued sponsorship of APTA free clinics and exhibitions. Hopefully, the clinics will take the momentum into the winter and continue the growth of platform tennis in Grand Rapids. And who knows, maybe another Hall of Fame inductee will come from the Grand Rapids!