The Park Rapids Community Tennis Association is starting a drive to encourage people to pick up a racket and hit the courts.

A $1,951 grant from the USTA Northern Section will be used to hold two classes to introduce children and introduce or reintroduce adults to the game of tennis.

Adult classes will be held on Monday and Wednesday nights beginning on June 17 at the Depot Courts from 6-7:30 p.m. The 90-minute classes will also be held on June 19, June 22 and June 24 and are for beginners or those needing a refresher.

Another class for children age 12 and under will be held on Monday and Wednesday nights beginning on July 15 from 6-7 p.m. at the Depot Courts. Classes will also be held on July 19, July 24 and July 26. Parents must also attend who bring children age 5 and under.

All participants must wear tennis shoes. For those who don't have access to a racket, equipment (rackets, tennis balls and starter nets) will be provided with funds from the grant. If there is enough interest, more classes will be added.

To register, contact Park Rapids Community Education at 218-237-6600. The fee is $10.

"We want to encourage people to play tennis," said Kathy Peterson, president of the Park Rapids Community Tennis Association (PRCTA). "We have eight playable courts at the Depot Courts that are free to use anytime and are open to everyone. We're looking for people who want to start playing tennis or who haven't picked up a racket in years and want to start playing tennis again."

The Park Rapids Community Tennis Association also holds league play four mornings a week at the Depot Courts. The Women's League meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. while the Adult League meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-11 a.m. for singles and doubles play. Players are welcome to drop in and play on any of those days.

Players are also encouraged to join the Park Rapids Community Tennis Association. Dues are $30 a year, which pay for repairing the courts, patching the nets and supporting tennis in general. Peterson considers the PRCTA more of a booster club and the association is registered with the USTA.

"My long-term goal is to increase participation and interest in tennis in our area and see our membership in the association grow," said Peterson. "Tennis is a fun sport and it's for everybody. All skill levels can play. It's a lifetime sport."

For more information about the tennis classes or the PRCTA, call Peterson at 218-699-3212.