The Thakkar Tennis Complex, owned by the Highlands County Tennis Association, is located in the beautiful subdivision of The Country Club of Sebring.
Over 100 members play tennis year-round on six lighted clay courts. The courts are also open to the public and the fees are listed at the facility. A number of tournaments are held during the winter season and the proceeds are used to present scholarships to high school tennis players planning to go on for further study.
The Club also offers scholarships to youngsters to attend summer camps at the facility lead by Horace Watkis, USPTA certified tennis pro.
Monday evening, the high school tennis players from Avon Park, Sebring and Lake Placid were invited for a fun pizza party at the complex. Seven seniors were awarded $500 scholarships. They are Mitchel Coker and Gabriella Merlo from Lake Placid, Emily Joseph and Gavin Szoka from Sebring and Magnolia Santiago, Sophia Perry and Amy Schlosser from Avon Park.
Five other students were awarded scholarships to attend one of the weekly summer camp sessions taught by Horace Watkis.
Club member Barb McCarthy headed the festivities. The students enjoyed pizza, garlic bread and beverages. McCarthy had a special surprise treat. She had chocolate cupcakes made, loaded with yellow frosting. Publix arranged them creatively in the shape of a large tennis ball. Once a photo of the cake was taken the kids dug in and the cupcakes disappeared quickly.
Most of the club’s snowbirds have headed north for the summer, but the facility will be alive with the swing of the rackets. Summer residents will hit the courts early and Watkis has a summer filled with camps for aspiring future U.S. Open Champs.
Camps begin June 3 and run through Aug. 2. They run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Cost is $100 and first time players are most welcome. The camps are open to youth 6-18.
Contact Watkis at 863-414-2164 to sign up. If a parent has an inkling that their son or daughter might have interest in developing a lifetime sport, tennis just might be the ticket and the Thakkar Tennis Complex the place to begin. Drop the kids off, do some shopping or just stay and watch your child develop as possibly the next Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Venus Williams.