Missouri Valley / Iowa

Parks and Rec Programs in Iowa Bring Tennis to Youth

Andrea Gallagher | June 28, 2021

Arnold Wehrenberg spent the past 30 years trying to grow the sport of tennis -  first in Texas, then in North Carolina and now in Iowa. When he moved to Des Moines to work at Life Time Fitness, he reached out to the local communities to give more children exposure to the sport.



“Last year was the first year and with the battle with Covid, we ran Waukee and Grimes,” he said. “We had over 100 children introduced to the sport, and this year (adding Urbandale, Clive, Des Moines, Marshalltown and Polk City) we have had well over 200 this year along with 30 new adult players.”


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Wehrenberg said they have a staff of seven full-time tennis pros along with 12 apprentice pros who just work in the summer for this program. He hopes it continues to grow.



“The goal is to run as many parks and non-profits as we can to grow the sport,” he said. “To give opportunities to those who don’t have access or the means.”



Along with high attendance comes challenges with making sure they have enough staff at each site while they are all trained to teach the same methodology, Wehrenberg said.


“We have seen great progress and lots of happy faces on both the parents and children,” he added. “Lots of great commits and reviews on how it looks and how it runs professionally.” 



The program wraps up one week before school starts. Sign-ups can be found at participating park websites:


Clive Parks Tennis Program

Des Moines Parks Tennis Program

Grimes Parks Tennis Program

Marshalltown Parks Tennis Program

Polk City Parks Tennis Program

Urbandale Parks Tennis Program

Waukee Parks Tennis Program


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