EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Jose de Leon started a "tennis community" here in East Brunswick about twenty years ago, and today his memory was alive as the newly-reconstructed courts in BiCentennial Park and the upgraded and resurfaced courts in Lenape Park officially opened to serve that community and to broaden their reach, too.
Ronnie Li, health advocate and member of the East Brunswick Parks and Recreation Board, facilitated an event this morning at BiCentennial Park to celebrate the opening of the courts. "Formerly, the courts were cracked and in pretty bad shape. I spoke to Councilwoman Camille Clark and Mike Reissner, Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation about it, " said Li. She also presented to the entire town council with the support of other residents interested in upgrades for tennis.
Li is concerned not only about quality facilities for the sport, but she is also interested in the life-long value of tennis as a sport and the importance of health for adults Larry Dillon, formerly a representative for the United States Tennis Association, echoed Li's thoughts: "Tennis is one of the best sports for interval training, a recommended format for aerobic, cardiac activity. A facility like this encourages play." Dillon is also a pro and trainer for both the East Brunswick Racquet Club and the Brunswick Hills Racquet Club in East Brunswick. He has recently been involved with the Department of Recreation's "Neighborhood League Tennis" at Lenape Park.
Mike Reissner opened the event by describing the improvements at BiCentennial and Lenape Parks. "BiCentennial park is the most widely-used. The surface has been replaced and color-coded, with new striping. LED lighting will allow for evening play at a lower cost to the township. Lenape Park is also lined for pickleball, a sport growing in popularity locally " said Reissner. He took time to thank Planner Gregory Potkulski; Black Rock Enterprises; and the East Brunswick Town Council and Planning Boards.
Mayor Brad Cohen added, "When I think about East Brunswick, I think that we are a community. I think about the opportunities that we provide for residents. Parks are the places where we all meet and become members of a community. East Brunswick is the center of the state, and parks are the center of East Brunswick."
Advocate Ronnie Li summoned the spirit of Jose de Leon and said that she was grateful for becoming part of the community through tennis. She thanked the township, especially Reissner and the Department of Parks and Recreation. Li stressed that the parks are not only for kids, but for adults who love exercise and being outdoors: "Going to the park provides emotional relief and stress reduction. Adults are trying to enjoy life, too, " said Li. She also thanked the management of the Spotswood Shop-Rite which provided a breakfast for the Parks and Rec staff and those in attendance.