Richmond’s ever-growing community tennis association is set to receive a significant award from the Northern California Division of the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
On Sunday, Jan. 31, the Richmond Tennis Association will be awarded the 2016 Outstanding Community Tennis Association Award at the USTA’s annual ACES event at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery in Pleasanton.
The Richmond association was lauded by the USTA for providing affordable tennis programs that promote healthy lifestyles to youth, and for growing its number of youth participants to more than 500 in the city.
Through its foundation last year, the USTA granted the Richmond Community Tennis Association $10,000 in order to teach tennis to under-resourced youth and people with disabilities.
“This year, the Richmond Tennis Association started new youth programs in several community centers, charter schools, and local parks to reach over 500 children, with a heavy outreach to the Hispanic demographic with Spanish-speaking coaches and communities,” USTA Northern California stated.
In his weekly newsletter, City Manager Bill Lindsay praised leaders of the Richmond tennis group.
“This is a notable accomplishment for an organization that represents the Richmond community so very well throughout all of northern California,” Lindsay said, adding, “The RTA competes at a high level against teams from surrounding areas including Oakland, Walnut Creek, San Leandro, Berkeley, Claremont and Alameda.”
The RTA is not only promoting tennis, but producing solid players. On Jan. 13, the group’s Mens’ Team defeated the team from the Claremont Resort and Spa to become regional USTA League Champions. Doubles teams of Saul Isidro Carrera/Dil Chitaure and Michael Simpson/Ivan Khodyuk achieved the win and will next play in the USTA District Championships in Sacramento from Feb. 19 through 21.
The burgeoning tennis movement in Richmond began after Garry Hurlbut and his wife Maryn moved to Point Richmond in retirement. The couple wanted to continue playing tennis as they had in their previous hometown of Oakland, but found 22 tennis courts in awful shape throughout Richmond. The couple teamed with the Richmond Recreation’s existing tennis program in 2010 to grow the sport in the community and refurbish the city’s courts.
The association partners with various other youth providers in the city, including the Richmond Police Activities League, and Boys and Girls Club.
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