(June 5, 2015) Rod Dulany has returned to his position as director of the Ocean City Tennis Center on 61st Street with plans to expand its programs and drive more traffic by offering activities for everyone to enjoy.
“We have the nicest public facility on the Eastern Shore and offer a wide variety of programs for everyone from doubles to private lessons and clinics on all types of activities,” Dulany said.
This Tuesday evening, June 9 from 6-7 p.m., will be the final opportunity to attend a free adult tennis clinic for players who have never tried the sport or who want to get back into the game.
Participants will be taught the basics of court positioning, doubles strategy and certified professional staff will be on site to assist players.
The clinic leads into an evening doubles league, which runs from June 16 to Aug. 11, where participants can go out and compete against others who have the same skill level.
“We are trying to build up the local base and serve the resort visitors,” Dulany said.
Expanding the youth program is a huge priority for Dulany and tournament play for all age groups will be going on throughout the summer.
“We want to expand the junior base that is out there and try to be the center for junior tennis on the Eastern Shore,” Dulany said.
During wintertime, four 10-and-under and four 8-and-under USTA-sanctioned outdoor courts were added to the tennis center in Ocean City to benefit children with their modified size.
A 10-and-under play day will take place on the last Sunday of each month this summer, where youth can learn to play tennis in a low-pressure setting. The cost is $10 per day and each session runs about two hours.
“Kids from six to 10 years old have the opportunity to meet a lot of other kids while competing in a couple different matches with pros on hand to help out, and it’s a low cost,” Dulany said.
Opportunities are abundant for younger players and tournaments for high school tennis male and female athletes will be offered.
Pickleball, one of the fastest growing sports in the country, is being introduced at the tennis center this summer and consists of a wooden paddle and whiffle ball. It is played on the 10-and-under courts on Mondays and Wednesdays for $10 from 5-7 p.m. through Aug. 19 with instructors.
Marie Thomas, the women’s tennis league coordinator for 13 years, has grown the program from about eight women to more than 220, Dulany said.
“Ladies will drive from Salisbury and Rehoboth Beach to play in Marie’s group because she makes you feel like a part of the family,” he added.
Men and women have dozens of adult programs to choose from and they take place at various times throughout the day.
“Quality hard and soft courts with a USTA certified staff makes it easy, accessible and fun for everyone,” Dulany said. “It’s a low expense sport with a variety of programs for all ages.”
Dulany grew up on the Eastern Shore and eventually bought a home in Ocean City. He ran a country club in northern Virginia for 30 years and moved to Ocean City permanently when it came time to retire last year.
“We would come down on the weekends, my wife loves it here on the bay and it’s very calming,” he added.
He was asked to return as director of the tennis center and the camaraderie of Ocean City staff made his decision easy. Dulany was the director of the center from 2002 until 2008. For six years, he served as executive director of the United States Tennis Association/Mid-Atlantic Section.
“If you’re visiting Ocean City, we can probably get you in two or three days if you’re here for a week,” Dulany said. “Tennis hasn’t had a focus on the Eastern Shore for years and we want to change that.”
For activity times and more information, visit www.oceancitymd.gov/tennis or call 410-524-8337.