New tennis game with a little love

Jun. 5—By Barry Porterfield —

Anyone who likes whacking a tennis ball around will likely love a new version of the game and an event now with a Pauls Valley home this summer.

Squeeze two words together — touchtennis — and you've got a game and organized event called Wembley in the Valley coming to the grass of Wacker Park on Saturday, July 13.

With a few changes here and there, touchtennis is a modified version of tennis as this new summer event is led by the Pauls Valley Tennis and Racquet Association.

Giving their blessing last week to the upcoming event being held in a local park were all five members of the Pauls Valley City Council.

Tennis buff and racquet enthusiast Ryan Rennie says the idea is to hold a fun event that shows more people what touchtennis is all about.

"A lot of people haven't heard about touchtennis," Rennie said.

"It's basically tennis played on a half size court and with junior racquets and a foam ball.

"This will give us something that's more of a social activity for the community. It will also introduce the game to the community and give the high school players and anybody coming out a chance to just go out there and have some fun."

Last week's approval from the city council allows for the Wembley event to take place on the part of Wacker Park between its bandshell and rose garden.

As for the name, it's a reference to the Wimbledon tournament in England, which is not only a major tournament in pro tennis but likely the one with the most history and tradition.

"That's the second week of Wimbledon, so we decided to call it Wembley in the Park," Rennie said.

"We'll have a competitive division, but we'll also open it up to just have fun.

"This is for any age — from beginners to the experienced racket players."