WEDOWEE - Did you know Wedowee has tennis courts that are open to the public? There actually is a good chance you may because they have been there for nearly 47 years and were built in 1972.
With the help of parks and recreation director Lance Daniel and Randolph County High School physical education teacher Robyn Thompson, we were able to find out a little more about this once-forgotten gem.
Daniel informed us that, "The tennis courts were built with the little league baseball field and the football concession stand. The town had to sign a 99-year lease with the high school when they were built because the school owns the land."
Funding came from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Since Daniel started as director in July of last year, he has been updating the courts a little at a time. Daniel says they have cleaned up the courts and replaced the nets. "I plan to keep a check on it more frequently because due to the pine trees around the courts, I will have to continually blow off the pine straw needles that fall," explains Daniel.
Upon inquiring about the safety of the courts, Daniel explained the city police make rounds at night to make sure no one is there. "Since the lights have been disconnected, the courts will close at sundown," Daniel said.
While there aren't necessarily any specific rules at the courts, Daniel does make a point that, "We do want people to help us keep it clean by picking up trash and not damaging anything. Like I mentioned before, the courts are open for public use until sundown. However, since they are on school grounds, you may have to check in at the high school office during school hours to get permission to use the courts."
In fact, the courts are currently used for physical education classes at RCHS. Coach Thompson says they play volleyball and tennis there and are doing a learning unit on tennis right now. According to Thompson, "We haven't been able to use the tennis courts in years, and the students are really enjoying doing something different." Thompson makes the statement that she is "glad the city provided my class with this opportunity!"
At the moment, the courts are not being used in the Parks and Recreation Leagues; however, Daniel says, "I would like to see them used as much as possible, so that we can justify spending more money to continue fixing them up. It's hard for me to ask the town to spend money on this if the courts are not being used."
This is your open invitation to take advantage of this free opportunity to have some fun and even get exercise while doing it. The public tennis courts are located on the RCHS campus at the top of the hill behind the band room. Come with your friends, family or even alone and enjoy the great outdoors. With fall upon us, it will be perfect weather for this activity - that is if this Alabama heat ever decides to leave us.