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Crowds Enjoy Action At Platform Tennis National Championships In Darien

Fans watch a match Sunday in Darien. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Fans watch the action Sunday in Darien. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The Country Club at Darien hosted the APTA men's and women's championships over the weekend. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The Country Club at Darien hosted the APTA men's and women's championships over the weekend. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Pizza was a popular hot lunch on a chilly day. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The Country Club at Darien hosted the APTA men's and women's championships over the weekend. Two young boys enjoy their pizza. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The Country Club at Darien hosted the APTA men's and women's championships over the weekend. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
Pizza was a big hit on a chilly Sunday. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman
The Country Club at Darien hosted the APTA men's and women's championships over the weekend. Photo Credit: Skip Pearlman

DARIEN, Conn. — The Country Club of Darien hosted the Platform Tennis National Championships over the weekend, with athletes competing for APTA national championships and the 2016 Viking President's Cups for both men and women.

Big crowds turned out, taking in the action on two platforms, and platform tennis enthusiasts were thrilled.

"I think it's great, incredible. I'm a big fan of the sport, and I also play," Greg Lange, of Westport, told Daily Voice. "I think it's great for the sport. It's growing a bit. And the number of people in leagues is also growing.

"It's a great way to get out and exercise. And these guys are playing at a different level. ... It's fun to watch."

The women's national championship match featured two teams from Fairfield County. Gabriela Niculescu of Norwalk and Martina Ondrejkova of Stamford won the title, beating the team of Cynthia Dardis of Stamford and Amy Shay of Wilton.

In the men's national championship match, Drew Broderick of New Jersey and Jared Palmer of California and formerly of Rowayton defeated Mark Parsons, of Norwalk, and Johan du Randt of Massachusetts.

Event-goers also enjoyed an assortment of food — including brick-oven baked pizza — from several gourmet food trucks set up at the event.

Earlier matches in the tournament were also held at 32 additional clubs and facilities in Fairfield County in Greenwich, New Canaan, Rowayton, Wilton, Weston, Fairfield, Stamford, Easton, Darien and Ridgefield, and in Rye, N.Y.

The APTA will donate the tournament’s net proceeds to the Connecticut Alliance for Tennis + Education, www.ctalliancetennis.org, a nonprofit organization that provides tennis instruction, academic support and mentoring to under-served youths in Connecticut. Programs are located in New Haven, Bridgeport, Danbury, Stamford and Norwalk.

Founded in 1928 in Scarsdale, N.Y., platform tennis or paddle as it is commonly called, has been growing rapidly across the country in recent years.

The APTA’s mission is increase participation with its “Grow the Game” initiative, an active grant program to provide financial assistance to communities for building new courts.

For more information and results, check out the American Platform Tennis website at www.platformtennis.org .

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