Since Pattie Smith and her husband built Charlotte Racquet Club North in 1998 to infuse northern Charlotte with much-needed tennis action, they’ve watched the club blossom from seven courts and a doublewide trailer to a sweeping 14-court facility complete with a pool and a fitness complex. Pattie plans on adding four indoor courts by November to keep members playing through the winter—including one 78-year-old ace who games, sets, and matches twice a week.
The Pavilion cultivates every species of physical activity within its 66,000-square-foot indoor complex and adjacent outdoor fields. The eclectic indoor space hosts soccer, volleyball, and curling face-offs, as well as a year-round ice-skating facility, bounce house, and inline-skating space. Fledgling ice skaters slip and slide during public skating sessions or take part in the U.S. Figure Skating Association's basic skills program to grease their triple axels. As the temperature rises, members make a mad dash outdoors to one of six tennis courts and three soccer fields, or hail a ride on George, The Pavilion's historic miniature passenger train. The complex's Boundless Playground offers a space where children with disabilities can be included in play thanks to accessible slides, swings, and climbing structures.
As a former ATP Tour professional and the first junior player to ever make the Davis Cup team for his home country of Nigeria, Surma passes on his wealth of international tennis experience to new generations of players through his namesake company. Since 1989, he has overseen a team of certified tennis professionals that imparts the principles of hard work, proper technique, and competitive spirit to their students, all within an environment that promotes sportsmanship and fun. Players of all skill levels can improve their play, from beginners working on fundamentals to advanced players looking for skilled hitting partners. Likewise, intermediate players can take their skills to the next level as they learn strategies that are far more effective than grunting incessantly before the match begins.
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2?4 hours
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Tennis Instruction
Recommended Age Group: Kids
Yann Thefaine was dissatisfied with the country-club approach to tennis lessons. After instructing at a local club and witnessing its exorbitant rates, he decided to open the Tennis Academy of North Carolina, a teaching community where reasonably priced instruction would foster a widespread passion for tennis. This was more than a decade ago. Today, Yann, a USPTA-certified Professional 1 instructor, and his talented staff of instructors continue to develop lesson plans that cultivate solid tennis strokes and wallets fuller than the penalty box during a family croquet game. Their expertise adapts to the needs of beginners and advanced tennis players during clinics and private lessons in which coaches hone techniques in a way that benefits individual learning styles.
During cardio-tennis classes, teachers motivate pupils of all skill levels through segments of dynamic stretching and short aerobic exercises to the sound of music. Students sharpen their game and ascend to higher levels of fitness in an encouraging group environment. The same camaraderie flourishes at summer camps for ages 4–14. Divided by age and ability, kids enjoy hours of sporty sparring and instruction as the summer sun bronzes skin. The clinics combine structured drills with live match play, giving pupils time to hone their technique and sharpen their competitive edge.