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Ukonniemi has three artificial grass tennis courts and a padel court.
Ukonniemi has three artificial grass tennis courts and a padel court.

Ukonniemi's tennis and padel courts are now officially opened

15.7.2020 16:53
At the opening ceremony on 14.7. junior tennis stars and tips from a padel coach.

The Imatra Tennis Hall was built in Ukonniemi ten years ago. Now three modern, artificial grass tennis courts and a padel court have been opened next to it. In addition to racquetball venues, the services in the Ukonniemi area include, for example, an ice rink, a stadium, a sports field, soccer fields, a pump track, and a first-snow slope.

- Centralizing the sports framework is good for the people of Imatra, the residents of the entire province as well as tourists, states the Imatran Tennis Association Veikko Hämäläinen.

Mayor of Imatra Kai Roslakka agrees with:

- Placing tennis and padel courts in Ukonniemi and near the tennis hall is a well-considered act. Sports services are basic services for the citizens of the municipality - connecting fields and sports opportunities to Ukonniemi will increase the service network and the attractiveness of the area. As the whole of Ukonniemi develops, it promotes business policy as well as services.

The corona epidemic has also brought its own delays to the field project. For example, the nets between the fields have not been installed yet, but they are supposed to arrive during the next week.

- Field deliveries, such as transporting the sand base, were postponed. The competition season for the junior stars already started at the beginning of June, so it was challenging to arrange the schedules for the opening ceremony, Hämäläinen describes the project.

- It's great that the best tennis players in Finland are here now, he adds.

The opening event features the best tennis players in their age group: Aada Inna, Eeva Ristola, Alex Lindqvist ja Valtteri Vare. The young people showed their skills in various exercises and in the doubles game with the coach Aldrich Simek under. He gave the starting pitch Erkki Orava.

 

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A relatively new sport in Finland, padel, now in Imatra

Padel is originally a Mexican sport that reached Europe in the 1970s and Finland only in the early 2000s. The representatives of the LVS club from Lahti call themselves the unbeatable sibling combo Kaisa ja Timo Korkeamäki have come to introduce the sport to the opening of the field in Imatra.

- Paddle matches are foursomes, and only in practice can you play as a pair. Although the ball resembles a tennis ball, it is always smaller in official dimensions - and travels slower, says Kaisa.

The padel court is surrounded by glass and mesh walls. The field halves are separated from each other by a net.

- You may hit the ball to the opponent's side through the glass wall in your own half of the field. Another option is to bounce into the opponent's court - the net walls may not be used before the bounce.

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According to Veikko Hämäläinen of Imatran Tennis ry, not only locals play on Ukonniemi's brand new padel court, but also tourists have found a place to play.

- Players come here, especially from the spa. Out-of-towners have been very interested in Imatra's new padel court, Hämäläinen knows how to tell.

- It is important for visitors that the reservation system is user-friendly and clear. The field reservation and payment must be done with a few clicks, he adds.

Fields are being reserved Through Tim.