Nonagenarian is an inspiration on the court

May 22, 2009 12:29:58 PM PDT
Wade Watson is an inspiration both on and off the tennis court. At the age of 91, he shows up at the same park almost everyday to find someone to challenge him to a game of tennis. There are a lot of people who love playing with Wade, both for the love of the game and the inspiration he brings to others.

On the good days of the season Tuley Park, on the South Side at 90th and St. Lawrence, is teeming with tennis players. And on most of those days Wade Watson is almost always one of the players.

"You get to exercise and you find people you can play with, someone your level, and it keeps you young," said Watson.

Next week Watson will celebrate his 92nd birthday.

"I take my exercise every morning," said Watson. "At home I take my set ups, push ups and come out here. Very seldom I warm up when I come out here, but you should. It's a lot of fun."

Watson's partner on this occasion is his son, Wade Junior.

"We play a lot together," said Watson, Jr.

"One of the things he does so well is to inspire everyone out here. All these people that you see are here because he's an inspiration, he's lively, he makes you stay alive and he just keeps everybody going all the time," said Angie Grant, tennis player.

After seeing him on the court you might think he's a life long player, but not so. He first picked up a tennis racket when he was in his 70's

"Age is nothing but a number to him. It's just great talking to him...you leave him feeling great," said Ruth Hadnot, tennis player.

"As I get a little older I think about him still out here playing tennis, and it can't be any better than that," said Dr. William Sampson, tennis player.

Wade Watson, nearly 92-year-old tennis player, and someone you should know.


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