Tennis, or pickles, anyone? Court renovations complete in East Brewton

Published 3:00 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

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The newly-renovated tennis courts at R.T. Johnson Park were abuzz with activity Monday with tennis matches between W.S. Neal and T.R. Miller players.
Those same courts will be filled with the pinging of balls at other times as the renovations recently completed at the courts now include Pickle Ball.
Thanks to Raymond Wiggins, who secured the funds for the renovations, those who enjoy Pickle Ball and tennis now have an updated and safe facility in which to play.
Joey Shell, director of Parks and Recreation for the City of East Brewton, said the renovations were greatly needed and getting the funds to make it happen is a blessing.
“Thanks to Raymond (Wiggins), we now have some beautiful courts for our students and residents to enjoy,” Shell said. “The project had about a $36,000 price tag and it was a blessing to be able to move forward with resurfacing and creating those pickle ball courts along with our tennis courts.”
The work completed recently capped 13 years of play on the old surface and will be of benefit for those who use the facilities.
Abby Sims, tennis coach at W.S. Neal High School, said the new surface makes playing more pleasant for her team.
“We are grateful to have these courts to use,” Sims said. “They kids were so excited to come out here and see the improvements to the court. We love it and are glad to see the improvements.”
East Brewton Mayor Terry Clark said the improvements have made even more recreation possible for residents of the community and surrounding area.
“We are so proud to have this done,” Clark said. “We certainly appreciate this gift. It will be a blessing for everyone who comes out here to play tennis or pickle ball.”
Wiggins said securing the funds was a goal so that students and residents in the area could continue to enjoy playing.
“I’m thankful that I was able to find the funding to redo the courts,” Wiggins said. “It was much needed and it will be of help to the students and to the senior citizens who never had this opportunity before now.”
Shell said there are already teams playing pickle ball on the courts with more than 20 players active at any given time.
“The courts are staying busy,” Shell said. “With the popularity of pickle ball it’s great to be able to offer that opportunity in our community. It’s nice to have the courts in great shape for the tennis team and for our residents here.”
In addition to resurfacing the courts, Wiggins also found funding to make improvements at the East Brewton SAIL Center, Shell said.
“We are installing a surveillance system and a sound system,” Shell said. “We are also doing some new flooring, new chairs have been purchased and we’re even including some exercise equipment for the seniors who visit the center regularly. We’ve also made some purchases of outdoor cooking equipment.”
Shell said the $15,000 price tag was covered by funds Wiggins made available for the benefit of seniors who use the SAIL Center.

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