AND WE’RE LOOKING AT AUGUST, JUST AROUND THE CORNER. TODAY WE’RE HERE AT THE BLACK THORN CLUB, AND ONE OF THE GREAT AMENITIES THEY HAVE AT THE BLACK THORN IS TENNIS, I’M JOINED BY THE DIRECTOR OF TENNIS, JOHN OKAZE, THANK YOU FOR HAVING US TODAY TODAY. APPRECIATE YOU COMING OUT. LET’S TALK ABOUT TENNIS AT THE BLACK THORN. GIVE US AN OVERALL VIEW HOW IT HAS GROWN AT THE BLACK THORN. I GUESS I’M THE OLD MAN NOW. TENNIS, WE STARTED OUT WITH A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE WHEN WE HAD EVENTS AND THAT KIND OF THING. MOST OF THE TIME, FOR A LOT OF THE EVENTS, WE HAVE COURTS FULL OF PLAY. SO IT’S JUST REALLY DEVELOPED OVER THE LAST ALMOST 0 YEARS NOW, SO. — 20 YEARS NOW, SO. AND IT’S SOMETHING ROW TAKE ADVANTAGE OF. WE HAVE A LOT OF EVENTS AND THEY COME ON THEIR OWN AND RESERVE COURT TIME, AND PLAY, YOU KNOW, EVEN JUST FAMILIES COMING OUT. LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE BIG EVENTS YOU HAVE HAD OVER THE YEARS. TALK ABOUT THE YEARLY EVENTS YOU HAVE. YOU HAVE SEVERAL TENNIS EVENTS OUT HERE. SOME OF THE BIGGER EVENTS, EVERY YEAR WE HAVE A JUNIOR TOURNAMENT THAT’S SANCTIONED BY THE USDA. IT’S BEEN A LARGE TOURNAMENT, VERY SUCCESSFUL, USUALLY 65 TO 90 PLAYERS IN THAT WE HAVE HAD ANYWHERE IN THAT RANGE, AND THEN COMING FROM SEVERAL DIFFERENT STATES, YOU KNOW, NORTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, THE SURROUNDING STATES. AND THEN ANOTHER BIG TOURNAMENT WE HAVE IS OUR MEMBER GUEST TOURNAMENT, THE MEMBERS REALLY ENJOY, GET A CHANCE TO INVITE SOMEBODY ELSE WHO’S NOT A MEMBER AND COME OUT AND PLAY DOUBLES. LET’S TALK ABOUT TENNIS IN GENERAL. DO YOU SEE IT AS A GROWING SPORT IN THE TRI-CITIES. NOW I DO. WE HAD A FEW YEARS WHERE WE HIT A LULL. NOW IT’S PICKING BACK UP, A LOT OF GROWTH, A LOT OF MOMENTUM IN THE AREA, SO YEAH. ALL RIGHT. AND WITH THAT GROWTH, YOU GOT TO GROW YOURSELF AND IN THE BACKGROUND, WE’RE SEEING BACK HERE SOME CONSTRUCTION GOING ON ON A BRAND NEW INDOOR TENNIS AND FITNESS FACILITY. TELL US ABOUT THAT. ABSOLUTELY. TWO COURT STRUCTURE. RIGHT. SO WE’LL HAVE TWO INDOOR TENNIS COURTS. THERE WILL BE A SMALL LOUNGE AREA WITH A COUPLE OF RESTROOMS AND A GOOD SIZED FITNESS CENTER AND THEN ANOTHER FINISHED OFF AREA FOR MULTIUSE KIDS ZONE, THAT KIND OF THING. IT’S GOING TO BE A BEAUTIFUL FACILITY. REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT. I STARTED TO SAY, YOU GOT TO BE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THAT COMING IN. WE HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT IT FOR A LONG TIME, AND JUST GLAD TO SEE IT FINALLY HAPPENING. LET’S TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WITH THAT, AND EVEN WITH THE FACILITIES YOU HAVE NOW, LOTS OF CAMPS AND CLINICS GOING ON AS WELL. WE DO. WE OFFER A LOT OF, WELL, A COUPLE DIFFERENT CAMPS IN APRIL AND JUNE, AND WE HAVE WEEKLY CLINICS ALL THROUGH THE YEAR. RIGHT. HOPEFULLY THE KIDS PICKING IT UP FROM THE CAMPS, THEY COME OUT AND JOIN IN THE CLINICS AND DO PRIVATE LESSONS, CLINICS FOR LADIES AND LEAGUES AND INSTRUCTIONAL EVENTS. I WAS TOLD TO ASK YOU ABOUT POP TENNIS. YES. A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH PICKLE BALL. THIS IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO PICKLE BALL, WHERE YOU USE A SMALL PADDLE AND SOME OF THE BALLS THAT THE YOUNGER JUNIORS USE, WHICH ARE CALLED QUICK START BALLS, THEY PLAY ON A SMALLER COURT. IT’S GIST A GROWING THING WHERE WE KIND OF CONDENSE THE COURT AND CONDENSE THE GAME A LITTLE BIT, AND HOPEFULLY TAKE OFF. WE’RE GOING TO INITIATE THIS YEAR. SOUNDS LIKE A LOT GOING ON HERE AT THE TENNIS FACILITY AT THE BLACK THORN. THANKS FOR HAVING US OUT TODAY. DIRECTOR OF TENNIS AT THE BLACK THORN CLUB. IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN

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Dennis Veasley

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