The Brightside: Ocean Pines Platform Tennis Team

OCEAN PINES, Md. – A local tennis club is ‘serving’ up some light-hearted competitive fun. The Ocean Pines platform tennis club has over 100 members of all ages and athletic abilities. “Joining this group changed my life here in this community,” says Karen Kaplan, President of the Platform Tennis Association.

However, they’re not playing the tennis you might be thinking of. Platform tennis, timeless tennis, and a newer addition, spec tennis. “Those balls still bounce and you really need to go for it, you can’t just stand there,” says Araceli Boben, President of the Kent County Tennis Association.

Boben tells us, she brought spec and timeless tennis to Ocean Pines. Which club president Kaplan says was the perfect addition to their club. “For people who love tennis but just can’t manage it anymore they have a few issues, this is perfect,” says Kaplan. Boben adds, “It’s just so rewarding to see people who cannot play tennis anymore or they don’t want to because maybe their knees hurt or something.”

Club member, Beth Bogat tells us, she was new to tennis but she’s naturally a competitive person, so it didn’t take her long to catch on. However, whether she’s winning or losing, she says just being a part of the group is exciting for her. “Exercising while playing a game, I rather not be on a treadmill or a bike, it’s a fun exercise,” says Bogat. She adds, “It’s not just about playing tennis, it’s the social part of it, we take turns, you know get together with some food and drinks.”

Meanwhile, another member, Donald Pellicano who is 91-years-old is proving that age is certainly just a number. “I came down here and did what I could to stay nimble, hit the ball against the backboard so I would get my motion right,” says Pellicano. He adds, “This game is so different from tennis, you can lob it over people’s heads and they’ve lobbed us to death!”

Although 47 ABC’s Jordie Clark got in on the action, she says she wasn’t as seasoned as these club members. However, the club’s president tells us, that the true benefit of the club is not about becoming the next Serena or Venus Williams, it’s about the memories made. “Despite the differences in the level of play, you do find your group, but we still intermingle and we still are kind of like a family,” says Kaplan.

For the 91-year-old spec tennis star, Pellicano says this truly is a family that you can celebrate accomplishments with but also have some friendly competition. When we asked Pellicano how it feels to be 91 and still feeling nimble enough to be playing, he jokingly replied “See me later!”

Kaplan also tells 47 ABC, that they offer free lessons for those interested in the club, so no matter your age, there’s a place for you.

You can visit their website for more information.

Categories: Brightside, Local News, Maryland