Ledyard’s subtle improvements have not gone unnoticed. Between the upgraded police station and the new light posts, Ledyard Center has gone through many renovations this past year. But the biggest change is yet to come. This September, the community will have a pool and tennis courts added to the mix.
Thames Aquatic Club, owned and operated by the Vitale family, has been working on getting a pool and tennis courts built in Ledyard for over a year now. Feeling that Ledyard would be the perfect location for their facility, the Vitales are anxious to add to improvements in Ledyard. Come the end of the year, their dreams will finally be turning to reality. Soon, 14 Iron Street will no longer be a patch of woods; it will be the address of Vitale Aquatics and Tennis (the VAT). The facility will consist of two clay tennis courts, an outdoor pool that will be enclosed in a fabric membrane during colder months, so that the pool may still be used, and a clubhouse with locker rooms.
Thames Aquatic Club (TAC), has been training athletes of all ages to compete in the water for over nine years. The team is dedicated to training their swimmers to work hard, swim fast, and have fun. But competition isn’t the only aspect of the team, TAC also offers swim lessons for kids of all ages. From TAC babies (6 months to 36 months) to Seawolf swimmers (the most advanced), Thames will offer it all. Once the pool is built, their programs will only grow from there. Head Coach, Anne Vitale, runs the team with over 14 years of successful coaching experience, bringing swimmers to national meets on all kinds of levels. Team director, John Vitale, brings a lot to the tennis courts, with experience as a professional player and tennis instructor. He has even trained with the world renowned tennis coach Dennis Van Der Meer, known affectionately as “teacher of teachers.” Between the duo, their daughters, and all the swimming and tennis experience, there is no doubt that this facility will only further the team’s success.
The VAT, of course, won’t only be used for the swim team. The Vitales look forward to meeting members of the community through the various membership tiers that will be offered. There will be seasonal memberships for the pool and/or the tennis courts offered at the facility. There will also be different programs throughout the day including lap swim, open swim, lessons (for both tennis and swim), aquatic therapy, and pool rental for birthday parties, activities, etc.
Since the extensive approvals and permits that are required for the purchase of the property are finally in order, the VAT is simply waiting for the last bit of funding to come through from Chelsea Groton Bank. Once that comes through, the facility will be on its way.
According to Coach Anne Vitale, “All of our subcontractors, the general contractor, the pool contractor, and the tennis court contractor are ready and waiting to begin.”
Between changes like the Ledyard Middle School and Gallup Hill renovations and the VAT, Ledyard residents are sure to wonder what is coming next.
Olivia Strelevitz, Staff Writer
Sophomore Olivia Strelevitz is a staff writer for the 2016-17 Colonel. Not only is she an honors student, she is also a competitive swimmer competing for LHS and TAC. Outside of the pool, Strelevitz works as the Secretary of Key Club and participates in Student Congress.