by Abbie Bennett
Mark Guion of Mint Hill wants to bring
paddle tennis to town.
The Farmwood resident plans to
approach the members of the town’s Parks
and Recreation committee at their Nov. 13
meeting in an effort to get two courts constructed
at the Park on Wilgrove. Guion will
host a free paddle tennis demonstration at
the park, 7750 Jim Harper Lane, at 3 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 14 to introduce the game to
area residents. The event is free and open
to the public.
Paddle tennis is very similar to tennis,
Guion said, but is played on a smaller court
with a lower net and players use a paddle
rather than a racquet. The ball is a normal
tennis ball that has been punctured with a
needle in order to depressurize it.
The cost of constructing the courts has
yet to be determined.
“I have requested quotes from four contractors
and have not received the figures at
this point,” Guion said. “ … The request will
be for the town to fund the courts.”
The park has a former basketball court
that Guion has been eying as a potential
site for the new paddle tennis courts.
“The goals were removed years ago, but
the blacktop remains,” he said. “Over the
years, the asphalt has cracked (and) it has
become an eyesore, not to mention (it)
could be a safety hazard.”
Guion said the space is ideal for at least
two paddle tennis courts, and since there
are no other paddle tennis courts in the
Charlotte area, this would make Mint Hill
the first to offer what Guion calls a “growing,
Not only does Guion want to bring paddle
tennis to Mint Hill for his and other
residents’ enjoyment, he also said the
United States Paddle Tennis Association
has expressed an interest in coming to the
Charlotte area – possibly in Mint Hill – to
conduct clinics and promote the game.
“The smaller court, shorter paddle and
deadened ball help make paddle tennis
easier to play than tennis,” he said. “Ease of
play is one of the reasons that paddle tennis
is so popular, especially among young
children and seniors. Paddle tennis is truly
a game that can be played for a lifetime.”
According to Guion, benefits of adding
paddle tennis courts to the park in
Mint Hill include: introducing a virtually
unknown game to the people of Mint Hill;
drawing visitors to Mint Hill that may not otherwise have had a reason to visit; offering
a fun, easy to learn and play game for
the entire family; creating a great source of
exercise; revitalizing the Park on Wilgrove
by removing the old asphalt and replacing
it with attractive new courts and national
exposure to the USPTA.
“I just want a place to play paddle tennis,”
Guion said. “It is really as simple as that. If I
find it so much fun, so will others.”
Guion said residents can search “paddle
tennis” on YouTube for instructional videos.
by Abbie Bennett