VLPRA TENNIS CENTER WINS NATIONAL AWARD
Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks & Recreation Authority’s tennis center is one of the top facilities in the nation, according to the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The USTA presented VLPRA’s Harry B. Anderson Tennis Center with its prestigious Outstanding Facility Award, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country. The center was one of only eleven facilities in the nation to receive the award in the “Public Courts: Large Tennis Centers” category. VLPRA Tennis Pros Keith Childree and Chip Shade accepted the award at the USTA’s Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last week.
Judges ranked facilities on the following criteria: overall layout and adaptation to site; excellence of court surface and lights; ease of maintenance; accommodations for players, spectators and press/officials; aesthetics; graphics (including the use of signs and landscaping); amenities such as casual seating for spectators, food services and social areas; and the facilities’ participation in USTA programs.
“Great tennis facilities like the Harry B. Anderson Tennis Center at McKey Park help us to grow the game at the grassroots level, and we are proud to recognize them for their ongoing impact on the sport of tennis,” said USTA Community Tennis Chief Executive Craig Morris. “The Harry B. Anderson Tennis Center at McKey Park has embraced many of our tennis initiatives and kept the sport at the forefront of its community each year.”
The Harry B. Anderson Tennis Center is an 18-court site that’s completely free to the public. Aside from teaching pros, there are no court reservations required. This facility has a goal to grow the game and keep it interesting for both new and seasoned players. VLPRA’s full-time staff strives to introduce people to tennis from all walks of life, in all different categories of skill, and in all types of formats. The Harry B. Anderson Tennis Center also hosts events like the USTA Georgia Combo State Championships that bring in revenue to support the local economy. VLPRA has a close relationship with the local Community Tennis Association, Tennis Valdosta, which offers a great volunteer base and think tank when it comes to creating and hosting events.
“We are thrilled the Tennis Center is being recognized on a national level,” said VLPRA Executive Director George Page. “It is certainly the pride of our tennis community here and is also beloved by competitors who travel to Valdosta for tournaments. The center hosted more than half a dozen tournaments in 2021 with hundreds of competitors and we expect even more this year. It’s truly a championship caliber location and we are grateful it’s here for both residents and sports tourists alike.”
VLPRA received a wall plaque as part of the recognition, as well as an all-weather sign which will be mounted at the facility.