Premier Facility Spotlight: West End Racquet and Fitness Club

Don’t be surprised if a group of high-performing juniors pops up in eastern Pennsylvania over the next few years. And definitely don’t be surprised if many of them are training at West End Health and Fitness club, either.

While providing top-notch programming for adults and juniors at all levels, West End Health and Fitness Club has been at the forefront of the 10 and Under Tennis initiative in Middle States. West End is getting kids into the game at an early age, watching them grow as players and enjoy the game each step of the way.

West End Photos 004“We have something for everyone, but our strongest area is juniors right now,” said Laurie Schwepfinger, the Director of Tennis at West End. “For a long time, we’ve really made a point to offer 10 and Under Tennis as much as possible.”

One of the USTA Middle States Premier Facilities in 2013, West End is a club instrumental in the drive to provide opportunities for 10 and Under players. Located near Allentown, Pa., in the Eastern Pennsylvania District (EPD), the players in the area are certainly benefiting.

In fact, as 10 and Under Tennis continues to grow throughout the country, eastern Pa. is seeing an enormous boost in interest and participation.

West End Photos 001“Kids want to play, and they get so much better, so fast,” Schwepfinger said. “It’s a great program and we’re happy we have it here. It’s great, all-around.”

As a hotbed for 10 and Under Tennis, West End also features strong programs across the board for juniors and adults. The club hosts USTA-sanctioned as well as local tournaments, national junior events, clinics, and more. The national tournaments bring in players from all over the country and expose local Middle States players to top talent.

West End Drop Shot Divas

Plenty of USTA League Tennis players also call West End home, and with the highly-experienced pros at West End, junior and adult players both reap the benefits.

“Adult teams have taken a liking to the club, that’s for sure,” Schwepfinger said. “A lot of teams playing here have made it on to Section Championships. It seems like a lot of them have success wherever they play.”

US Varvara Lepchenko returns a ball agai
Varvara Lepchenko

Aside from the USTA crowd, a popular, young American player also trains at West End. Varvara Lepchenko, a resident of Allentown, Pa., got her start in Pennsylvania by training at West End. She still makes an appearance when she’s in the area to get some work in, and the members are always excited to see her around.

“She’s such a talented player, its fun to watch her play at such a high level,” she said. “She’s fun to watch while she’s here.”

Aside from tennis programming and training opportunities, West End is also active in the community. Each February, the club hosts a Pro Am to raise money to fight cystic fibrosis. The event has picked up attention over the past few years and has evolved into a fixture in the area.

“It’s just one of the many things,” Schwepfinger said. “We feel good about the club and what we’ve been doing.”

“Our indoor courts are as popular as they come in the Eastern Pa. area,” she added. “Everybody likes to play here.  It’s exciting.”

For more info on West End, click here.

For more info on USTA Middle States Premier Facilities, click here.

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