USTA Let's Move! Grant Provides Youth-Friendly Tennis Courts

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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USTA Let's Move! Grant Provides Youth-Friendly Tennis Courts

Posted: 07/03/2014
July 3, 2014 - While City of Knoxville Parks and Recreation offers its regular summer tennis camps and lessons this year, children 10 and under will be able to enjoy more youth-sized tennis courts.

This is thanks to a grant from the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) and an additional grant through the USTA Southern Section that funds the cost of painting lines on adult-sized tennis courts to offer less intimidating, smaller courts for beginner players. These grants are made available to municipalities that offer tennis programs.

"The best thing we can do to introduce our kids to new sports is to remove one of the intimidating factors," said Joe Walsh, Parks and Recreation Director. "We can encourage active lifestyles for our kids by taking a small measure like painting smaller playing areas on tennis courts to show them the fun side of tennis."

Knoxville Parks and Recreation's Athletics Division applied for the grant and received $3,000, enough to paint lines marked in blue on the courts of Knoxville's two main tennis centers, Tyson (14 courts) and West Hills (11 courts). The City paid a local match of approximately $1,000.

Though the USTA has offered this grant opportunity for years, its visibility was raised when the program was taken under the umbrella of the Let's Move! campaign, an effort started by First Lady Michelle Obama to address childhood obesity.

The First Lady and tennis celebrities such as Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf recently made a public service announcement about the grant to promote youth tennis play. (See video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-5NevflvbI)

Knoxville Parks and Recreation offers weekly tennis camps and lessons for all ages throughout the summer at both Tyson and West Hills tennis centers. Parents in Knoxville can sign their kids up for them now.

For more information on Knoxville Parks and Recreation tennis programming, please call Tyson Tennis Center at 865-522-3303 or West Hills Tennis Center at 865-357-0720.