Buffalo Clinic & Exhibition 2008

OCTOBER 3rd & 4th, 2008

The Buffalo, NY platform tennis season opened quickly this year when Buffalo hosted an APTA exhibition and clinic on October 3rd and 4th. Inveterate veteran Fritz Odenbach arrived from nearby Rochester, NY with colleagues Sky Kalkman and Andy Thompson and teamed with Bob Considine from Paddlepro for the weekend. Festivities included a Friday night clinic, exhibition, open house, and dinner at the Country Club of Buffalo while Saturday’s festivities included clinics for kids, women, and men at the Saturn Club.

Buffalo has a passionate and growing – albeit small – paddle community. Five years ago, courts were being considered for closing, there was no interclub play, no leagues or tournaments, no investment in the facilities, and play was limited to small, isolated, and independent groups.

Buffalo Clinic 2008-Considine  Buffalo Clinic 2008-2  Buffalo Clinic 2008-1        

Dave Jentsch got involved in Western New York platform tennis when introduced to the sport by Bob Butcher who spoke of some vague, mystical, snowy, cold, chicken-wire winter sport named “platform tennis” and invited him out for a little fun. Since then, paddle has grown in the Western New York area. Says Dave: “Buffalo is a perfect place for an outdoor winter sport like platform tennis – paddle should be successful here. Over the past few years we’ve had a number of clear priorities including investing in courts rather than shuttering the facilities. In addition, we opened up the clubs and secured reciprocal arrangements, began holding tournaments, increased the number of players and teams traveling to regional tournaments in Toronto, Welland, and Rochester, and recently focused on getting our women’s groups out to play in the regional tournaments.”

Bob Shookus, another driving member of western New York’s paddle community remarked “For years, paddle was an incredibly active sport in western New York, but it fell off in the 90’s - now it’s back. It was great to see the APTA come out and help support the sport and after the clinics, we had a number of people ask about the next set of clinics. It was great to see the increased enthusiasm and potential new players come out and check out the sport.”

Bob Considine was a key component of the weekend. His clinics provided the group with guidance on technique, strategy, court positioning, and teamwork. In addition, he advised the group on developing various approaches to increased organized play in the area. Said Paul Herlan – a recent tennis convert to the game - “Bob’s advice on taking a little off the serve, guidance on court positioning, and clearly defining each team member’s responsibilities just moved me forward on my understanding of the game. Like tennis lessons, this type of training provides a significant and quick increase in skill level that translates into better quality play.”

Says Dave – “This was what the Buffalo platform tennis community needed – another dose of excitement, organization, enthusiasm, training, and focus – thank you APTA!”

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