MINNEAPOLIS — Clay Tennis courts have long been a staple in professional tennis and private clubs.
"I tell you what, it’s like a dream come true,” says Charles Wood, President of the Board of Minneapolis Community Clay Courts.
"They did a fantastic job in organizing," says clay court enthusiast Tom Haeg.
Now, players in the Twin Cities can enjoy their own clay tennis experience for free at the Minneapolis community clay courts in the Waveland Triangle Park in Minneapolis finished last month.
"'At the beginning it didn’t seem like it was going to happen," says Wood. "But you just keep trying, you do different things. You just keep talking to people”
It worked. And the project had no shortage of support. From private donors, to companies employee match programs and the USTA.
"It’s so gratifying," says Wood. "You can’t do it all by yourself. And when people step up and say, ‘that’s a great idea how can I help,’ it sort of gives you the idea that you can keep going.”
The courts are more than just a cool attraction. They are easier on players joints, and they have an environmental effect as well. The surface reduces runoff.
"It’s a permeable surface. So there is not this runoff. The city becomes nothing but runoff, and so this just absorbs into the clay," says Wood.
Absorbed into the clay, as the court has been absorbed into the hearts of those who use it.
"We all take care of it," says Wood. "And that gives the community investment into the court itself."