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Summertime is for tennis

"A slate of tennis programs and tournaments offered by the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District this summer may not hold the drama of Wimbledon, but parks tennis instructors are hoping Southend kids and adults will take a whack at the sport anyway.Starting July 1 and running through the end of August, the parks tennis program includes lessons for teams and individuals, a junior tournament, an all-ages tournament, and a tennis league in which players can take the court any day of the week. By signing up for several of the parks tennis events ahead of time, a real tennis lover can play almost daily over the next two months. Karyle Kramer, a former state high school tennis champion for South Whidbey, is the head coach and tournament organizer for the summer tennis program. She said getting into the tennis program right away not only fills up a person's summer athletic calendar, but might make tennis a lifetime sport for a few dozen people.Sometimes people wait until the last minute, she said.On Saturday, about 30 kids and adults gave the tennis courts at South Whidbey High School their first real business of the summer. Participating in the park district's Tennis Free-for-All, the players loosened up their forehands and tightened up their volleys in a morning of drills and games. Kramer and a group of high school varsity players and former high school players coached the event, and gave away T-shirts and other prizes during games that were the equivalent of HORSE on a basketball court.Most of the summer tennis events are sanctioned through USA tennis. Kramer, along with coaches Theresa Wheeler, Don Zisette and Kaitlin King, will teach players in USA Tennis beginner programs, two team tennis programs, and an adult tennis program. All the summer's work will culminate in a singles, doubles, mixed doubles tournament on Aug. 10 and 11. That event is co-sponsored by the Whidbey Island Tennis Club.Younger players will get a warm-up tournament before the season-finale event. The parks district is sponsoring a junior tournament on July 20 and 21. Throughout the summer, players of all ages and experience levels can play in the district's Play Anytime League. In that program, players can schedule weekly games to fit their schedules.The cost for the district's tennis events range from $10 for tournaments to $65 for some of the lesson programs. To sign up for any of the tennis programs, stop by the district office at South Whidbey Community Park or call the district at 221-5484. For more information about the tennis programs, pick up a summer programs brochure at the district office or visit the district at its Web site at South Whidbey Parks. "

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