PDT Sports Editor
In its 22nd year, Ryan and Tom’s Tennis camp has become a staple of the community as an affordable way for area youth to obtain meaningful tennis instruction.
This year, 65 children are participating in the camp that is as much about learning the fundamentals as it is the fun of competition. For three days participants ages 5 through 17 learn from tennis instructors Ryan and Tom Carter on the courts at Portsmouth’s Mound Park.
“Myself and Aaron Counter started the camp when we were 18 and after Aaron went on to be an eye doctor, my dad filled in and has been instructing with me for 17 years,” Ryan Carter said.
The younger Carter, who has been a tennis instructor since his college days, sponsors the event through his company, Carbon Enterprises of Circleville. The sponsorship provides racquets, bags, hundreds of tennis balls and prizes for the participants.
“The whole reason we do this is you will see and read about these camps in bigger cities where kids will go for instruction,” Ryan Carter said. “Those are expensive and not really available to the local kids so we wanted to have that type of camp here for them.”
The elder Carter, Tom, is well-known locally for his involvement with local tennis players for, among other things, his role as the boys and girls coach at Wheelersburg High School.
The father-son combination has devised a successful recipe of tennis instruction and competition for the campers. One added bonus has been the cooperative weather for the 2012 edition of the camp. Ryan Carter said last year’s camp featured days with extremely high temperatures while Tuesday’s temperature remained in the low 70s.
“It was three days in a row of 90 and above last year,” Ryan Carter said.
After two days of different drills and exercises, today’s camp finale will feature competition with prizes on the line.
“(Today) they play half the day and then try to win prizes,” Ryan Carter said. “They hit it, to win it. These kids are all business with the prizes on the line.”
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or email@example.com.