NRPA and USTA are working together to build healthier communities through tennis. For more than 10 years, NRPA has partnered with USTA to bring the Tennis in the Parks (TIP) strategic initiative to park and recreation. Tennis in the Parks expands opportunities in your community for the public to learn and play the lifelong game of tennis. For more information on Tennis in the Parks please visitwww.usta.com/tip
Tennis In the Parks (TIP) and all associated program resources are FREE to eligible agencies that are committed to growing and improving tennis programs and infrastructure in the community. A three-prong approach ensures that the TIP initiative meets park and recreation’s needs:
- TIP is focused on quality tennis programming, from instruction, team tennis and league play, to marketing and partnerships.
- TIP helps ensure that public tennis facilities are in optimum condition.
TIP is committed to ensuring the sustainability of tennis in the public park sector by:
- developing an advocacy agenda to support master planning to include tennis,
- mounting bond referendum support for community projects that include tennis, and
- building a network of local tennis advocates eager to reach out to local policy makers about the need and benefits of quality tennis programming and infrastructure.
Here are some of this years award winning Tennis in the Parks programs:
Highlands Ranch, Colorado is a growing community and has a current population of 92,000. While there
are many providers of recreation services in the community, the Highlands Ranch Metro District and the
Highlands Ranch Community Association (HRCA) are two organizations that provide a full range of
In 1999, Highlands Ranch Metro District, the local governing agency, opened the first public tennis court
facility in Redstone Park. Redstone Park Tennis Center has eight outdoor lighted courts open to the
public year round on a firstͲcome, firstͲserved basis and seasonal tennis programs March through
October. During its first years of operation the Metro District funded programming at Redstone Tennis
through its general fund.
In 2003, the HRCA and Highlands Ranch Metro District kicked off a partnership to promote and increase
tennis participation in our community.At the beginning of the 2003 season, 628 players participated in
Redstone Park Tennis Center programs.Five years later, at the end of the 2007 season, there were
1,901 participants, which is a threefold increase.In tennis talk, we hit the sweet spot by working as
This all began when HRCA leased the $1.3 million, USTA national award winning Redstone Park Tennis
Center from the Metro District to offer public tennis programs seven months per year. In 2003, to get
these programs off on the right foot, the Metro District agreed to accept a low lease fee of $6,620,
which did not cover costs typically recovered by user fees.That same year HRCA subsidized programs at
Redstone by about $5,000 but increased participation by 143 players or 22 percent.From that point
forward, the participation and financial picture has improved for HRCA’s programs.From 2004 through
2008 HRCA has met or exceeded its budgetary goals for the program, while the Metro District is
recovering its maintenance and promotional costs through planned lease fee increases.
As one looks closely at this partnership, only one conclusion can be drawn: Everyone benefits – tennis
players, the HRCA, the Metro District and the Highlands Ranch community.
The National Student Athlete competition was implemented when the Lee County Community Tennis
Association partnered with Lee County Parks and Recreation to implement the First Serve program. The
National Student Athlete Competition gives participating youth points for report-card grades and
tournament results. First Serve members earn points for 365 days.
Members compete with their points to win a scholarship for college. Parents were excited about the
chance of their child winning a college scholarship. This excitement has lead to parent buy-in in the tennis
program that their child loves. Parents began entering their children in the local sanctioned tennis
tournaments to give their child an opportunity to gain tournament points to match their academic points.
Children tried harder, studied harder in school and parents sign up for more tennis tournaments.
Through the National Student Athlete Competition, children brought home better grades and parents
became a part of the child’s love for the sport of tennis. After-school tennis programs are always looking
for ways to create parent buy-in and bringing academics and tennis into a competition worked in our park
The Lee County Community Tennis Association (LCCTA) partnered with several local organizations
including Lee County Parks and Recreation to host a two-day USTA Tennis Block Party was held at Lee
County Parks and Recreation’s Rutenberg Park during May, which is National Tennis month.
The Lee County Community Tennis Association was awarded a grant from USTA to promote the Block
Party and to deliver information about their youth tennis programs to the 600 fifth-grade students who
attended the Block Party.
Students and their Physical Education Teachers enjoyed three hours of playing in a “mini-tennis” court
round-robin in the parking lot and received instruction from local USPTA teaching professionals.
The collaboration between the local school system who bused in the students and their teachers to the
park, the USPTA Pros who donated their time, the local LCCTA, Lee County Parks and Recreation, USTA
Florida and more than 40 local volunteers were all essential in the success of the event.
This event for fifth-grade students has been in existence for more than 12 years as an introduction to
tennis through the efforts of local USPTA Pros. Adding the element of the Block Party made it possible for
all of the students to leave with information on the Ralleyball Youth Tennis and USTA Jr. Team Tennis
programs that are offered through the CTA and Lee County PARD.
This season more than 200 children are registered for the Ralleyball Youth Tennis Program being
delivered at the Park sites, and a core group of USTA Jr. Team Tennis children are in the process of
registering for this fall league season