Middle States

Community Celebrates History

June 19, 2023 is months away, but the preparation for the third-annual Juneteenth event at Germantown Cricket Club is well underway. This year’s agenda is similar to years prior with local youth, expansion and inclusion at the forefront. 


“The focus is still going to be on the kids,” said Walter Robinson, a Germantown Cricket Club (GCC) member who helped organize the event for the last two years. “We really want to focus on the community and underserved neighborhoods. Bringing kids in to see tennis on a different level, to understand the game and what it can bring to them.”


Robinson is a Middle States Board Member and also the Chair of the Philadelphia Area District Council (PATD). He joined Germantown Cricket Club nearly five years ago. At that time, he looked around at the neighborhood that the club is in and compared that to the club membership. He thought more could be done to bring a more diverse membership. So Robinson spoke to other members who felt the same way, and the group began working toward that goal.  


“We were trying to think of a way to sort of kick that off,” Robinson said. “That intersection between the community and the club, and Juneteenth seemed like the perfect event in terms of when it was, what it recognized, and the opportunity that it gave us to open up the club to the community.” 


Robinson put a group together to help with the planning. He continues to work with that group, and shouted out Rhonda McCullough Anderson — the co-chair of the planning committee — for all of her additional work.


“I love tennis. I think it's a great game,” Robinson said. “I think the more people we can bring into the tent, the better it is for the game. I'd like to think that by doing things that are welcoming to the greater community, we help.”


In the first year of the event, the club welcomed back Joseph James, the first Black member of GCC, gifting him with a lifetime membership. Last year, the special guest was Katrina Adams, the USTA’s first Black President. The historic event exceeds expectations each year, making 2023 no different. 


If you are interested in attending, sponsoring, and/or volunteering, please contact communications@ms.usta.com.

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