By Susan Levin, Sunday Women’s League Vice President
The other day I was enjoying a good “catch-up” conversation with a close friend. Eventually, we chatted about the beautiful spring weather, all the wonderful things Atlanta has to offer, and how we just can’t wait to get out and enjoy it. That’s when our conversation turned to tennis, which immediately brought up our Sunday Women’s League. My friend, Char, who last played ALTA over 30 years ago, could not believe that this spring there are more than 18,000 ladies playing Sunday Women’s ALTA. Char quickly added, “That is truly amazing. The scope of that many women playing tennis is enormous.”
Enormous is an apt description, and that got me thinking.
Of course, it starts with the excitement of friendly Sunday afternoon competition played across Metro Atlanta’s public parks, neighborhood courts, and clubs. It’s hard to miss the bustling activity going on around the tennis courts. After a long work week, the Sunday ladies are ready to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of pounding and chasing a fuzzy yellow ball. It’s not only about the “love of the game,” but it’s everything that goes with it — camaraderie, making new friends, fist bumps (or clicking racquets) after an impressive winning shot; even preparing a favorite dish to share with teammates and guests.
So why do we play Sunday Women’s ALTA? If we were to ask every lady that question, there would be a multitude of reasons. But as the layers are peeled back, the overwhelming response would be “because it’s fun!” More than 18,000 women will attest to that. If it wasn’t fun, no one would want to do it. Some may think it’s only fun when you win. Granted, winning is fun, but we know there’s much more to playing ALTA than that. It’s also how we perform on the court, stepping up to the challenge of every point, and that feeling of satisfaction when we’ve played our best. All of this brings us back for more, season after season.
Everyone who plays ALTA knows there’s a lot more than winning that has made the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association the largest local tennis league in the world. It’s the decades of tradition and everyday synergism of the ALTA community. Yet, with all of ALTA’s success, it would not be possible without the volunteers and the good sportsmanship of thousands of teams and players. Testimony to that is the many sportsmanship award nominations ALTA receives from teams and players who may not have won their match but still took the effort to recognize the graciousness and excellent sportsmanship of their opponents.