By Emma Wolff
The 1980s were a time of legwarmers, big hair, rock-and-roll, and tennis? Yes, tennis! Shelley Chambers and her identical twin sister, Sherri, played in the Arizona High School Tennis Championships in 1982 while attending Shadow Mountain High School. Almost 40 years later, Shelley is now a head tennis coach with the Arizona Tennis Association (ATA). Shelley’s love of the game is being passed on to all the students she teaches.
“I never expected to go back to tennis after all these years,” Shelley says. “I went to school and earned a business degree, but here I am, still on the courts! During the last 21 years coaching with the ATA, I’ve been able to share my passion with students and give them the wonderful experience I had with tennis.”
The ATA is a nonprofit organization that has something for all ages. Whether you are 4 or 74, you can take lessons, join a tennis league and have some fun. After many years, the organization is moving to a brand-new location, perfect for the residents of the North Valley. Starting this month, the ATA will be playing on the beautiful, spacious courts of Shea Middle School, located at 2728 E Shea Boulevard.
“The ATA was founded in 1987 by four local tennis professionals and has been serving the Arizona community for over three decades. These pros had a desire to give Valley residents an option for high quality tennis lessons at an affordable cost,” says Gail Breece, ATA office manager.
For the next six weeks, Shelley and longtime ATA tennis coach Dave Thies will be conducting beginner lessons for several ages on Mondays and Wednesdays at Shea Middle School. On Tuesday and Thursdays, there will be lessons for more advanced students playing at the junior varsity and varsity levels. In addition to tennis lessons for younger students, the ATA also has adult leagues and lessons.
During COVID-19, ATA is taking safety precautions including social distancing and hand sanitizing. There is a limit of 12 students per class and six students per court in order to maintain social distance. If you are interested in signing up for lessons, act fast because classes are filling up quickly due to the size restrictions.
To learn more about the ATA, their new location, and how to sign up for lessons, visit their website at arizonatennis.org or call 480-970-0599.