Sunday, July 12, 2015

CTA's at the 2010 US Open: Jefferson County CTA - Port Townsend, WA | General News - News | USTA

The Jefferson County Community Tennis Association was started in 2007 to address the lack of tennis programming, the loss of the high school tennis team and the condition of public court facilities in our area. Indoor tennis clubs are an hour away, and local outdoor courts are at the stage that most need to be rebuilt. Starting a CTA was relatively easy, since there are so many resources available through the USTA Section offices, and other CTAs are willing to give advice, as well.

Photo: Julie Jablosnki of the Jefferson County CTA, with her daughter, taking a behind-the-scenes tour of Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open. (2010)

Port Townsend is a small historic seaport and arts community of about 10,000, with about 30,000 in Jefferson County. Even if your actual CTA membership is small, like ours, with creativity, motivation and a willingness to take the time to work together with community partners, you can accomplish more than you think. Since forming our CTA, we’ve been able to help resurface one set of courts at Fort Worden State Park, installed a backboard on another, and successfully advocated for a combined Port Townsend-Chimacum high school tennis team.

Julie Wurden Jablonski is national volunteer tennis coach of year

Our CTA has taught tennis throughout four school districts and three private schools for after-school and summer camp programs and even reached home-schooled students. We’ve helped each school obtain USTA equipment grants or conducted fundraising to purchase equipment. Jefferson County is part of the USTA’s Adopt-A-School Program and chose to adopt all our schools. We’ve offered Recreation Coaches Workshops and PE teacher training, painted QuickStart lines on courts and playgrounds, held tennis block parties and even a professional tennis match exhibition with coaches from the University of Washington.

We’ve found that, through working cooperatively with school districts, county and city parks and recreation departments, YMCA, Kiwanis and Rotary organizations and neighboring CTAs, we can slowly build programs that suit our community. Organizations share QuickStart equipment between each other, knowing that our 2,500-plus kids are important and that budgets are tight. Our community is gaining seniors, so creatively addressing their needs by offering QuickStart Tennis on-court and in a gym in the winter as a learning opportunity is important, as well. We need adults as well as kids involved in tennis, especially if we are to maintain and rebuild courts for the future.

As neighboring communities continue to grow tennis through their CTAs, we’re looking forward to being able to start USTA Jr. Team Tennis, QuickStart play-format tournaments and outdoor adult leagues.

It takes time to develop community tennis, but since tennis can be played at all ages, I think we have the time, and it’s worth the effort.

Jefferson County Community Tennis Association
A non-profit all-volunteer USTA community tennis association
  • Community & social tennis
  • Tennis exchange mixers
  • Adult and youth league tennis
  • USTA Jr. Team Tennis League of the Olympic Peninsula
  • Tournaments
  • Advocacy for tennis court improvements & play in Jefferson County

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