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APTA/PPTA Clinics Go International
OCTOBER 2, 2011
TORONTO, ON, CANADA
From Age 8 to Age 80, Toronto Welcomes PPTA Pros at 1st Wilson-Sponsored APTA Clinic Outside US
Close to 100 paddlers took part in 7 hours of clinics over the course of 2 days hosted at the Kingsway Platform Tennis Club in Toronto, Canada. Juan Arraya was joined by Mark Fischl, Brian O’Connor and Newfoundlander Mark Parsons, along with Toronto’s own Paul Stulac on the Kingsway courts and led a series of clinics and exhibition matches on a challenging weather weekend.
The range of members and (potential members!!) saw adults and juniors who had never picked up a paddle taking part along with seasoned Level 1 players. Beginners, intermediates and advanced players had only one negative comment about the clinics – WE WANT MORE!!
Basic shots, screen play, right through to intensive strategy sessions – the guys gave it their all. The 19 Juniors that participated on Friday afternoon were so keen that most were back on the court – in the pouring rain – right after their lessons.
Event organizers reported that families were arriving on Saturday after hearing about ‘this cool sport’ that the neighbourhood kids had played on Friday and most, if not all, of the new paddlers went left their lessons talking about signing up for a league, bringing their friends over to the club to give it a try and taking more lessons. The Kingsway Club is run entirely by volunteers, including the Junior Program. Deb Gallagher who helps run the program not only learned a lot in her clinic but also learned new strategies and drills to use with the juniors. If the object of the clinics is to ‘Grow the Sport’, this was absolutely accomplished in Toronto.
Paddlers from Toronto-based clubs including the Kingsway and B&R Club were joined by friends from Niagara, Buffalo and as far away as Ottawa.
The guys wowed the crowd with 2 exhibition matches on Friday night and Saturday afternoon that has Juan and Brian now undefeated in match play in Canada.
Newfoundland expatriate, Mark Parsons, led the die-hards in the Official Screeching-In Ceremony on Saturday night. Eating bologna, shooting screech and kissing the cod means that now Juan, Brian and Mark F can proudly state they are true Newfoundlanders (or crazy .. take your pick!).
The Kingsway Platform Tennis Club wants to that Wilson, the APTA, and the PPTA for this incredible opportunity and hopes that the program continues for years to come. We also encourage all clubs considering getting on the list for a clinic to JUST DO IT.
Thanks to the guys – Juan, Mark, Brian, Mark and Paul for your time, fantastic energy, incredible skills and sense of humour. Thanks also to their families for loaning them to us for a couple of days. We loved every minute of it and can’t wait to have you back.
More pictures and video can be seen on our club’s facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Kingsway-Platform-Tennis-Club/261531507213459