Jacksonville Sports Day

Southside Tennis Complex in City of Jacksonville Receives National USTA Facility Award

Jacksonville, Fla., was one of 13 winners in the 34th annual USTA (United States Tennis Association) Facility Awards Program, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country.

Representatives from the Southside Tennis Complex will be honored at the USTA Semi-annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Sept. 6, 2015.

“Tennis is a big here in Jacksonville and Northeast Florida, as evident by the strong support for Team USA in their Davis Cup tie against Brazil in 2013,” said Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown. “The sport’s popularity is also bolstered by the more than 10,000 players who play at the Southside Tennis Complex every year. I am proud of the players and staff at Southside and congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”

The City of Jacksonville’s Southside Tennis Complex is home to approximately 10,000 tennis players each year. Approximately 20 teams per year participate in USTA-sanctioned leagues, comprised of approximately 1,000 players participating on USTA League teams.

“Congratulations to our Parks Department, Coach Thomas, his staff and the many players and volunteers that contribute to the success of Southside Tennis every day, on receipt of this prestigious award,” said City Council Vice President-Elect Lori Boyer. “USTA recognized what we have known for many years — this facility, and the people who work and play there, are truly outstanding.”

Tennis professional Harrell Thomas has served as the lead pro at Southside Tennis Complex for 29 years. During his time at the facility, he has established a citywide junior tennis program open to children regardless of financial abilities. Coach Thomas is a member of the USTA, Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) and the USTA National Junior Tennis League. For the past three years, Southside Tennis Complex has been home to a 65-and-over 6.0 team that has won sectionals in each of those years and finished third in the nation in 2014-15.

“Great tennis facilities like the Southside Tennis Complex help us to grow the game at the grass-roots level, and we are proud to recognize them for their ongoing impact on the sport of tennis,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “The Southside Tennis Complex has embraced many of our tennis initiatives and kept the sport at the forefront of their community each year.”

To be considered for an award, facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a parks and recreation department, an educational institution, a non-profit corporation, or be a private or commercially owned and operated facility that offer both USTA and public programming designed to help grow tennis. All 2015 award winners receive a wall plaque and an all-weather sign to be mounted at the facility, and a one-year complimentary membership as a USTA member organization.

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