Missouri Valley / Iowa

Cities In Iowa Growing The Game

Tammy Arbuckle | April 03, 2020

What does Adel, South Sioux City and Waukon have in common? The passion to grow parks and recreational tennis programming within their communities unites these three cities together.


Tennis can play a major role in improving communities, schools, the health of individuals and the quality of life for all and USTA is able to provide grants to USTA Iowa to support the growth of tennis. 


Adel, in Central Iowa, offered their first recreational program to the community last summer, including red ball and orange ball tennis. The success Adel saw last summer with youth signing up for tennis brought about expanding the recreational offering to youth ages 13-17. The city will offer two sessions for ages 13-17, beginning in June.


Adel currently has two public tennis courts and is continually looking to grow their tennis programming. “We are super excited to grow our program and generate more interest in tennis as tennis is a lifelong sport”, said Adel Aquatics & Recreation Supervisor Sadie Mudder.


Adults looking to get involved in the game can connect with the Adel Tennis Club through the parks and recreation department. The Adel Tennis Club hosts both women’s and men’s tennis leagues. 

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South Sioux City (located along the Iowa/Nebraska border and serving many in western Iowa) was able to add three additional indoor courts to their First Serve complex.


Construction began last spring on the 25,300-square-foot facility, costing nearly $1.5 million.


The climate-controlled facility has three indoor courts, each with dimensions suitable for Division I college tennis matches. South Sioux City already has a number of outdoor tennis courts, including at the public high schools and at Leif Erikson Park.


However, outdoor tennis has its limitations in Northwest Iowa.


With the addition of the new indoor courts, First Serve can now host collegiate matches. To accommodate larger competitions, First Serve would more than likely need to expand and already looking at a possible expansion to six courts at some point in the future. 


Waukon, in northeast Iowa, has not had tennis courts and the community is ready for tennis after working on this project for several years. The entire community pulled together with donations, foundation grants and the USTA national PFA grant process.


"I've been so impressed how this community worked to accomplish this project for kids and adults alike," said John Terpkosh, USTA Iowa Tennis Service Representative. The project cost a total of $161,803, of which $47,950 was raised from 21 Waukon business donors and $21,270 from 21 individual donations. 


Other cities in Iowa expanding their court presence include Marshalltown and Ames.

Marshalltown Community School District is currently building twelve new courts at the high school. The existing courts have been maintained by both the city and school district since the mid 1970’s, and community members have used the courts along with school students. The construction of the new courts makes it possible for Marshalltown to host various organized tennis events, including school and adult tournaments. The goal is to have the courts complete by winter of 2020 and maintain the current facility until the new tennis complex is finished. 


Ames Fitness Center will soon be the home club for the Iowa State Women’s Tennis program (current home club is Lifetime Athletic in Des Moines). Ames is adding two new indoor courts in addition to the current indoor tennis facility as well as six new outdoor tennis courts. Ames Fitness Center plans on making the courts available to a variety of play, including USTA Iowa leagues, Special Olympics Iowa Summer Games, ISU Tennis on Campus team play and the Iowa Summer Games.  


The USTA’s mission is to promote and develop the growth of tennis. Together, CTAs and the USTA are helping to grow the lifelong sport. Interested in learning more about national funding and growing your current parks and rec program in the USTA Missouri Valley? Contact John Terpkosh at jterpkosh@movalley.usta.com and visit usta.com/parksandrecreation

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