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UNC Gains 3 New Courts
JUNE 18, 2009
CHAPEL HILL, NC
How do you give a recreation director the goose bumps? Give him the space of eight tennis courts and let him create a multi-purpose recreational facility for a major university. Marty Pomerantz of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, had just that opportunity. His new facility includes tennis, sand volleyball, basketball, in-line skating and three new platform tennis courts.
In 2007 Marty attended the opening of the Chapel Hill Tennis Club courts, which were built with the assistance of an APTA grant. The purpose of the grant was to help grow the sport in a new area. Not only did the CHTC courts draw players, they also planted the seed for the courts Marty would later include in his recreation center plans.
Marty was first introduced to platform tennis while a graduate student at Michigan State. The fondness he developed for the sport, along with the inspiration of the CHTC event, was enough to put platform tennis in consideration for his new facility, but Marty had a number of other reasons for including the courts: the university already had enough tennis courts; three paddle courts would provide effective use of the space (12 paddle players versus 4 tennis players); it’s easy to pick up the basics of play; and he had the opportunity to promote a sport that is relatively unknown in the area.
North Carolina has temperate winters so the courts do not need heating systems. This allowed for the installation of ground level courts, which are less costly than raised, heated courts. Marty used Reilly Green Mountain for the job. Reilly installed the courts in May on Skipper Bowles Drive, near dormitories and in front of Dean Smith Center.
Marty has told us that “In addition to our Oct. 17 Grand Opening, which will include a Pro Paddle Tennis exhibition and clinic, I intend to offer orientations, clinics, and intramural sport leagues and tournaments in the fall and spring. I've also encouraged our Lifetime Fitness Director to include Paddle as part of a class in racquet sports.”
While these courts will not be publicly accessible (they are available to Carolina students and employees with recreation memberships), they add one more location to the growing list of college programs. Hopefully they will help spread love of the game to a new generation of players.
UNC has purchased 24 paddles but they need assistance with balls for the student programs. If you would like more information, please contact Marty Pomerantz at firstname.lastname@example.org.