Richmond (CA) Tennis Association
Victoria Chiesa | January 24, 2020
Husband and wife Garry and Maryn Hurlbut have been instrumental in reviving tennis in the East Bay region of Northern California.
After retirement, the pair settled in the Point Richmond area, looking to maintain the active lifestyle that they cultivated when living in nearby Oakland. However, they quickly discovered that all 22 tennis courts throughout Richmond were in a state of disrepair, and after getting local community stakeholders involved, the Richmond Community Tennis Association (RTA) was born in 2014.
The Hurlbuts (pictured above) serve on the organization's board of directors, with Garry as president and executive director, and Maryn as vice president, treasurer and secretary. The couple is joined by Jon Sutinen, director of clinics and programs; Jerry Anderson of the Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL); Tetteh Kisseh, the recreation supervisor in Richmond's Community Services department; and former touring professional Wendy Driver-Guinn.ADVERTISEMENT
The group works tirelessly to bring the sport of tennis to all in Richmond and the surrounding area, and RTA is made up of a diverse group of players from all walks of life. With a mission of promoting a healthy lifestyle through active participation in vigorous tennis programs, RTA currently boasts over 500 participants in Richmond tennis programs.
In the years since its founding, RTA has played its part in bringing tennis to people of all ages in the community.
In 2015, Maryn Hurlbut initiated a free 'Tots Tennis' program for youth, ages 3-8. Since then, the group has expanded and collaborated with the city's department of recreation, to offer RTA volunteer coaches to elementary and middle school students and to help expand adult tennis offerings in partnership with the USTA.
In 2012, there was one USTA adult team registered in Richmond, and in 2019, this number grew to more than 20, with over 150 adults playing the game. Currently, RTA has adult members aged 18 to 75 from African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Nepalese and Caucasian communities, and a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.
With the help of USTA facility grants and assistance, the group has been able to resurface a dozen courts throughout Richmond, while program grants have assisted RTA in providing equipment, balls and instruction for all of its adult and youth programs.
"The assistance and guidance from Alison Vidal, Cherryl Silva, and all of USTA Northern California was invaluable to the resurrection of Richmond tennis programs," said Garry Hurlbut. "Tennis facilities and programs were languishing in Richmond prior to the establishment of RTA... and we now have over 500 adults and youth actively [participating] in Richmond tennis programs."
For more information on RTA, visit their website by clicking here.