Sports And Fitness

University athletics and professional team sports are popular, as are auto racing (especially NASCAR) and other motor sports. Because we mention only a few local teams in this chapter, you may want to explore what's available in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area and the cities of Charlotte and Fayetteville. The area's major phone books provide a surprising amount of useful information, such as how to obtain tickets, driving directions and stadium/arena seating plans.

Look in Wilmington's daily paper, the Star-News "Sports" and "Today" pages plus weekly "Currents" and "Neighbors" sections to find announcements about sports clubs and events throughout the region. Many groups and organizations publish information about their activities on the Internet, so check for a website if you're unable to find what you need.

Parents should note that registration fees for youth league sports are often discounted when registering more than one child in the same league. Frequently

Fitness Centers
Many fine fitness centers along the coast offer state-of-the-art equipment and certified instructors. Aerobics, Pilates and yoga classes are standard, as are bikes, treadmills, free weights, elliptical trainers and other equipment. Membership costs usually include a one-time registration fee plus a monthly fee for a required term, but some local centers cater to the short-term visitor by offering daily, weekly and monthly rates. Additional benefits at some clubs are referral rewards, travel passes that allow members to visit affiliated clubs around the country and suspension of membership for medical reasons or extended absences.

The larger, more sophisticated clubs offer a variety of amenities that may include a well-stocked pro shop, food bar or cafe serving healthy snacks and drinks, locker room facilities, nutritional supplement sales, tanning beds, spas, massages, child care and even laundry and dry-cleaning pickup/delivery.

Wilmington Athletic Club
2026 S. 16th St., Wilmington
(910) 343-5950

Wilmington Athletic Club (WAC), is a great place to work out, play, indulge yourself and improve your health status. Locally owned and operated, this outstanding facility has just about everything you could want or need, from state-of-the-art Pilates and cardiovascular training equipment to a complete day spa. A long list of available activities includes volleyball, basketball, racquetball, squash, badminton, swimming and running. The competition-size outdoor pool is heated for year-round swim lessons, aqua aerobics classes and fun.

Personal training, VO2 max assessments, weight management, sport-specific training, senior fitness programs, social events, youth camps and massage therapy are just a few of the special features that make the Wilmington Athletic Club an all-around great place for the entire family. Activity-oriented child care is available while mom or dad work out, and a terrific after-school care program is available to keep kids busy and constructively occupied

The Wilmington Athletic Club, open seven days a week to members and their guests, is affiliated with the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association (IHRSA) and offers reciprocity privileges through its Passport Program. Members may use affiliated facilities around the world for free or at a discounted rate.

Practically every large park and many smaller neighborhood parks have public tennis courts (see the Parks section at the end of this chapter). The Legion Sports Complex on Carolina Beach Road has four newly refinished, lighted courts that are open until 11 PM seven days a week, no reservation required. For information call (910) 341-7855. In addition, often you can find courts at area golf clubs. Watch the local papers for tournament information and use the New Hanover County Parks online listing for tennis events:

City of Wilmington Parks, Recreation and Downtown Services 
302 Willard St., Wilmington 
(910) 343-3682 
Mr. PeeWee tennis for ages 4 through 8 takes place April through November. Junior and adult clinics also run from April through November. Play is at Empie Park. Call for more information and registration forms.

Greater Wilmington Tennis Association 
8825 Sawmill Creek Ln. 
(910) 686-5457

Over the past few years, tennis has grown by leaps and bounds in the Cape Fear area. To help support and promote the sport, the Greater Wilmington Tennis Association (GWTA) was formed. The GWTA is a non-profit, all volunteer, organization for all tennis activities in the area, with more than 3,500 active players of all ages and skill levels. In affiliation with the North Carolina chapter of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the GWTA sponsors USTA sanctioned tournaments and events for both adults and juniors. The group also sponsors local clinics, leagues, social events, "fun" tournaments, the Wilmington Tennis Ladder and the Wilmington Junior Tennis Ladder

Adult league teams range in level from 2.5 to 5.0 and include men?s and women?s singles, doubles, mixed doubles, combo league (mixed levels of play) and Super Seniors ages 60 and 70 years young.

One of the organization's main projects is to make tennis available to youth through after-school programs and to make tennis part of the schools? physical education curricula. Through grants, special events and other funding, the GWTA has donated more than $20,000 in tennis equipment to schools and youth organizations

Any USTA member or Wilmington Tennis Ladder (WTL) participant residing in New Hanover, Brunswick or Pender counties is automatically a member of the GWTA. Check out their website or call them for more information or to sign up for a league or a ladder.