Katie Carpenter and Canyn Russell purchased the The Racquet Club at Seven Lakes in 2017, and then completed a renovation of the both the tennis courts and the clubhouse.
After hiring several part time teaching pros and attempting to run the business from Charlotte, North Carolina, Katie and Canyn decided that The Racquet Club members and the community deserved a full time teaching professional and Director of Tennis. Canyn moved to Seven Lakes permanently in April of 2018 and Katie joined her last Fall.
“We really came to the realization that if we wanted this dream, we needed to make a leap of faith,” she said.
Katie essentially grew up on these courts, developed her love of the game right here and went on the play D-1 college tennis.
Now with 30 years of teaching experience Katie said, “It’s great because being here brings me back home. I just love being here.”
While things certainly look different in the world due to the pandemic, The Racquet Club has actually had a surge in membership. Canyn mentioned that since tennis is considered one of the safer outdoor activities, COVID-19 has benefited the sport and “people have come back to it”.
With about 70 current players, The Racquet Club has been very diligent in keeping with all the CDC guidelines. Each member is required to bring their own equipment, water containers, and towels. The benches are wiped down before and after play each day.
Canyn believes that another reason for their increase in memberships is the pride they take in immediately integrating the new players in with the existing members.
“It means a lot to people that they are not just left on their own to find other people to play with”, Katie added. “We have all abilities and all ages playing here at The Racquet Club and we can find a spot for most anyone.”
With the start of school, Katie and Canyn hope that parents will take advantage of their afternoon junior clinics beginning September 15.
“So many activities for children have been cancelled. Tennis is one we can do safely”, said Katie.
It is perfect for children to get outside and be active while being socially distant. The Racquet Club will continue adding new programs for all ages and abilities with the increased membership.
The latest news The Racquet Club would like to share is that they now offer pickleball. Pickleball is usually played on a hard court which is tough on the body and joints. The RC@SL is currently the only facility in the area to offer pickleball on a soft court. About half the members have become regular pickleball players since the game was introduced just a few months ago.
“If you can get people to try it, they’re usually hooked,” Katie said. “One of the great things about pickleball is that you can be an incredible tennis player and your spouse not as good, but you can both go out there together and have a great time!”
“It is a great equalizer,” Canyn said.
The Racquet Club is now offering a complimentary 2-week trial membership. Members of the community can come out and experience the facility, develop a feel for the environment and play as much as tennis in that 2 weeks as possible.
“Hopefully you will like us and like our courts and then you’ll join,” Katie said.
The Racquet Club offers a variety of membership opportunities and a variety of prices which are available to all, not just residents. The shop is currently open daily from 7am-1:00pm. Katie and Canyn hope you will drop by and check the club out. They are located at 116 Edgewater Drive in Seven Lakes North.