CHICOPEE, Mass. – The US Tennis Association of New England has made its way into Chicopee.
Chicopee Social League coordinator Jeffrey Mason said the Tennis Association expanded last year after many local residents advocated for the league’s presence in the western Massachusetts community.
With tennis being a sport that can sometimes be a bit pricey, the league has tried to make the sport more accessible through a $60-70 seasonal fee as well as some support with equipment.
What You Need To Know
- The US Tennis Association of New England is currently in its second year in Chicopee
- The league has seasons in spring, summer, and fall that go on for six weeks on Wednesday nights at Szot Park
- Seasonal fees run between $60-70 with balls being provided by the league
- Registration is now open for the fall season which will start in about a month
“The balls are paid for by the league themselves,” said Mason. “So the coordinator will receive a shipment of them. The rackets are on the responsibility of the player but if push comes to shove, I know many of us have spares that are more than happy to loan out to people if they cannot afford it. “
So far, the league consists of nearly two dozen players from all over Hampden and Hampshire Counties, most of whom are in their 20s and 30s.
For Pioneer Valley Tennis coordinator Emily Jawadekar, having the league nearby has been a great addition.
“Since I played on the same league in Boston, it was my social outlet,” said Jawadekar. “My active outlet. I don’t go to the gym. I’m not a gym person, and yeah, tennis is my passion, and I’m really grateful this is here.”
The league consists of six-week programs that run during the spring, summer, and fall season on Wednesday nights at Szot Park from 6 to 9 pm.
Jawadekar said the league has a diverse mix of casual and competitive players so newcomers will be able to get involved more easily.
“It’s more about the social, the social part of tennis,” said Jawadekar. “It’s not super competitive, it’s more about the fun, sometimes we’ll grab pizza after we play a match.”
Mason said the goal of the league’s expansion into Chicopee is to give residents an opportunity to meet new people and have new experiences playing tennis.
“It kind of defeats this stigma that it is elitist because we have everyday people here playing,” said Mason. “It’s not people that come from necessarily wealth, it’s not people that come from any particular socioeconomic background, it’s a real kind of melting pot of everything that Western Mass is.”
Mason said the fall season will start in about a month and is now open for registration. Residents looking to sign up for the league can do so here.