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Coach Mike's Tennis Academy

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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.

Tennis enthusiasts around Salt Lake have reason to celebrate. The public tennis courts, located at 1216 S. Wasatch Blvd. and formerly known as the Dee Smith Tennis Center, now offer covered, year-round tennis thanks to Coach Mike’s Tennis Academy and Salt Lake City. A new bubble will cover the courts during the colder months of the year.

Unlike some covered facilities in Salt Lake, these courts are open to the public. For area players, it means tennis is no longer limited to just the summer months. Now, it can be enjoyed in the comfort of a covering that extends 40 feet high and encompasses four, full-size courts. The lighting is spectacular, too, with lamps that illuminate the complex in sun-like brilliance. Plus, the courts have been resurfaced and the clubhouse has been remodeled.

Mike Martines or “Coach Mike,” as so many people know him, began running the center several years ago after the city took ownership. As a long-time tennis player, he has earned many titles and awards, including the Utah Tennis David L. Freed Award and induction into the Utah Tennis Hall of Fame.

Four years ago, Coach Mike started his Tennis Academy at the center. His instruction has led some of his students to become top-ranked in the state.

Now, Mike is spearheading much of the effort to raise money for the bubble, which is a gift to the city. A good portion of the cost has been covered thanks to the county and some private donors, but not all of the funds have been raised.

Coach Mike’s Tennis Academy and Salt Lake City will host a couple of fund-raisers at the center to commemorate the new bubble and raise the rest of the money needed. Tonight, the public is invited to a “Bubble Celebration” from 5 to 8 p.m., complete with a variety of activities. Tomorrow, a “Tennis Shoe Extravaganza” is planned with tennis star Dennis Ralston and track star Henry Marsh as speakers, along with former Mayor Ted Wilson who will emcee the event and current Mayor Rocky Anderson. The public is again invited. The cost is $100 per person or $750 per table. Those interested in attending should call 583-9451.

For Zions Bank, I’m Fred Ball. I’m speaking on business.

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