Saturday, June 15, 2019

Timely Traditions

Coach Wayne’s Corner

Photo by Wayne Clark | The Zing Zang Championship Court at the Minto US Open.

I have always been a fan of traditions. Be it family traditions or national holiday traditions. 

Traditions kind of set a time frame of the year as it passes. We start off with New Year’s Eve, followed by Easter and the 4th of July, we celebrate a birthday and maybe an anniversary somewhere in the mix, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and before we know it, another year has passed! 

For me, the same is true for sports. I begin the year with the Super Bowl, the Miami Open and college basketball’s March Madness, The Masters golf tournament in April, the Indy 500 in May, the clay court season in professional tennis, which runs across Europe from April through June, and of course, breakfast at Wimbledon in July, finishing up the year with more football and the World Series in the fall. 

Along with all of those traditions, I now look forwards to attending The Minto US Open Pickleball Championships at East Naples Community Park.

This year’s 2019 Minto US Open will be the fourth year the event is being held at East Naples Community Park and will run from April 27th through May 4th.

Donna Fiala and the Collier County Board of Commissioners have done a great job of continually bringing improvements to the facility, both for the tournament, as well as for the citizens and tourists who visit here and love the sport of pickleball. They are continuing to make upgrades and improvements to East Naples Community Park for the US Open and for ongoing recreational play and lessons throughout the year.

The county has developed a Master Plan for improvements at the park to guarantee that the US Open Pickleball Championships will continue to be a tradition here in Naples for many years to come. I will have more information on this Master Plan in future columns.

In addition to all of that, during the Open, there are already fifty permanent and dedicated pickleball courts, which makes it the largest pickleball facility in the world with permanent, dedicated courts! Fifteen of the courts have been resurfaced this year to make that happen.

And let’s not forget the spectacular covered arena, which is converted into the Zing Zang Championship Stadium Court for the tournament. This state-of-the-art structure is also utilized on a regular basis as covered instructional courts by myself and my fellow instructors at the Pickleball Academy of Southwest Florida. 

So whether you reside here year round, live here for season, or will just be here visiting; plan on making the US Open Pickleball Championships part of your yearly traditions.

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