January 22, 2019


Grants will support efforts to spur healthy activity and grow tennis among youth and adults


In communities across the Mid-Atlantic region, they’ll soon start to notice some unusual activity happening around their local tennis courts and community hubs -  the buzz of construction and improvement projects taking place. Through the USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Safe Places to Play grant program funding will be directed to support tennis court construction as well as refurbishment of existing courts, all in an effort to ensure people have safe, inviting and accessible places to play and learn tennis.  


USTA Mid-Atlantic, a non-profit charitable organization with a mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis, aims to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region. ADVERTISEMENT Quality tennis infrastructure in more Mid-Atlantic communities of all types is a key aspect of succeeding on the mission and vision of the organization.


“Whether at the public park, nearby school or within the community, the local tennis court is a gathering place for every day fun, competition, healthy activity and a place where people bond through a shared passion,” says Beth Twomey chief advancement officer of USTA Mid-Atlantic. “Our Safe Places to Play grant program is a great way we can not only improve and boost our Mid-Atlantic communities through tennis, but also inspire healthy activity as we introduce more people to a sport that can be played for a lifetime.”  


The Safe Places to Play grant program is designed to provide funding support to projects that build or revitalize tennis courts in local Mid-Atlantic communities. The grant program requires that each project implement inclusive tennis programs and demonstrate how they’ll use the courts to introduce tennis to more people, especially among youth and the underserved. USTA Mid-Atlantic allocates funds to support the Safe Places to Play grant program, but also relies on the support of donations to help advance efforts to grow tennis and expand programs such as this one.  


Open to communities and non-profit organizations, applications were received for the 2018 Safe Places to Play grant program. At the end of 2018,  projects were selected with varying funding levels awarded based on the project needs and it is expected that funded projects will take place in 2019.


The Safe Places to Play grant recipients and projects are:

  • Morgan County Tennis Association (Berkeley Springs, W.Va.) - funding will support new construction of the community’s first regulation-sized tennis facility. Without any regulation-sized tennis courts in Morgan County, this new facility will be a welcome addition to the community especially among many young children anxious to play the game.

  • DC Department of Parks and Recreation, Banneker Community Center (Washington, D.C.) - Eight courts will receive resurfacing at the Banneker Community Center, one of the most heavily used sites for tennis in the District of Columbia. The DC Department of Parks and Recreation offers free tennis instruction to residents and non-residents of all ages and with new surfacing the public will have inviting, safe courts to play and be active.

  • Windsor Knolls Middle School (Ijamsville, Md.) - More than 800 students and staff and the nearby community use the 25-year-old tennis courts at Windsor Knolls Middle and with that comes a need for resurfacing and repair. With a lunch time tennis program started and soon an after school youth tennis program, resurfacing will make the courts and tennis more attractive to help draw more students to the game while also enabling the broader community a safe public place to play tennis for free.

  • An Achievable Dream (Newport News, Va.) - An Achievable Dream (AAD) develops independent, productive citizens through a "Social, Academic, and Moral Education." Tennis is the official sport of AAD and they have extensive programs to introduce the game to all students and bring the game to the local youth community, much of which is underserved. Grant funding will support a number of court renovation and upgrade projects including repairing outdoor backboards, replacing fences, and converting a standard court to four, 36-foot courts. These upgrades will support their daily in-school tennis instruction, after school programs, youth tournaments and free tennis camps for the community.


The 2019 Safe Places to Play grant application process is expected to open mid-April and close on October 15, 2019.


If you are interested in working with USTA Mid-Atlantic to support the Safe Places to Play grant program please contact Catie Dugan Vargas, associate director of development. You can also make a donation to USTA Mid-Atlantic which supports our efforts to promote and develop the growth of tennis in the region.




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