Beach tennis: Sun, sand and racquets help grow emerging sport

    beach tennis itf world tour orig_00002502
    beach tennis itf world tour orig_00002502


      Sun, sand, water and ... beach tennis?


    Sun, sand, water and ... beach tennis? 01:01

    (CNN)It's fast, engaging, fun -- and its chief executive does not look like your everyday sports administrator.

    Dressed in shorts and T-shirt and sporting a year-round tan, Donny Young is chief executive of the Beach Tennis Association, which is arguably giving racquet sports a bit of an X-Games vibe.
    The 53-old-year Young worked on the professional tennis tour for 12 years, coaching the likes of Kimberley Po, who won a mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 2000, and Jim Pugh, who has eight grand slam titles to his name.
      Now he's looking to use his knowledge to bring beach tennis to the masses.
      "I do it part-time, but it's becoming more of a full-time job," Young told CNN Sport. "Between my wife and I, there are so many different aspects to building the sport and its grassroots and tournaments.
      "We've introduced the sport to thousands and thousands of people," adds Young. "We've just planted the seeds.
      "It's a lot of fun and it's growing. It's engaging, quick, addictive and we hope to build the sport throughout the world."

      'Easy to learn'

      Key to beach tennis' growth has been the sport's emphasis on enjoyment and fun.
      "Tennis is always the country club," says Young. "Here you can come out in your bathing suit and play, be who you want.
      "It's really easy to learn, four times easier than volleyball or tennis. Everyone can be themselves."
      ITF Beach Tennis Tour tournaments are held from January to October, from Tokyo to Barcelona, with men and women over the age of 14 competing.
      From 11 to 16 July, the ITF Beach Tennis World Team Championship will be held in Moscow, with hosts Russia hoping to defend their title.