Article in Register Citizen Newspaper – 12/24/2015 by John Torsiello
Torrington – The sport of tennis has rebounded in recent years, with participation and merchandise purchases on the rise thanks in part to the interest in the game generated by such high-profile professional stars as Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Tennis is also touted as a wonderful, social sport – one that can be played for a lifetime. Torrington’s Pinewoods Health and Racquet Club has been at the forefront of spreading the word about the game and enticing new players to pick up a racquet and start hitting forehands in earnest. One of the club’s most popular programs is “Back to Basics”, which, in fact, are adult tennis lessons. Club Owner Bob Cofer runs and teaches the program and say’s it has been very popular among players of all ages and abilities. “In ‘Back To Basics’, students learn the fundamentals of tennis, but do it in a fun way,” he says. “As soon as they are ready, they are rallying from the baseline back and forth, which is when tennis really becomes fun, especially when you can keep the rally going for a long time. The classes are successful because students see improvement immediately and can visualize playing real tennis games with only a few lessons.” Back To Basics is offered at $40 for four classes. Cofer has over 30 years of teaching experience of all levels and he has taught at clubs in Washington D.C., Cincinnati, Syracuse, N.Y. and Vermont in addition to Pinewoods. He is a certified tennis instructor at the highest level by the United States Professional Tennis Association. “I remember taking lessons here as a middle school student,” says Tyson Deloy, who took time out from a recent lesson at the club that he was taking with his wife, Jessie, “It’s fun and something we can do together. I can’t wait for Mondays to come so we can get out on the court and receive instruction.” Offers Jessie Deloy. “Our son is in a class here, so we decided it would be a good idea to take lessons as well. I played in high school but nothing too serious. The program has really encouraged us to get out and play and it’s great exercise.” Frank Dunne and Tom Donahue, both of Litchfield and in their 70’s, are neighbors that decided to take lessons for different reasons. Said Donahue,” I’ve never played before, so I am really learning a new sport. I was always a golfer but I needed something to do in the winter. I’m not into outdoor winter sports, so indoor tennis is a nice option.” Dunne, who has played in the past, enrolled in the program to hone his skills and for exercise. “I’m a skier and walker and tennis is another way to exercise for me,” Dunne said. “We are both hoping to get our ability levels to a point where we can play in some of the round robin matches they have here.” Back to Basics is aimed at those who are just starting tennis and those who may have played a little in the past and are looking to get back into the game. The classes teach the basics of tennis and have participants playing real games in no time. The classes are ongoing throughout the year and can be started at any time. For more information or to sign up, call Pinewoods at (860)482-9424 or check the Pinewoods website, www.pinewoodsclub.com.