The USTA celebrated the refurbishment and creation of 10,000 youth-sized tennis courts in the U.S. as part of USTA’s commitment to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. A celebratory event, Court 10K, was held on March 19 at the Tamiami Tennis Center in Miami to commemorate the milestone.
The celebration featured U.S. Fed Cup captain, Olympic gold medalist and Miami native Mary Joe Fernandez. The host site, Tamiami Tennis Center, is emblematic of the 10,000 courts that have been installed throughout the country.
“We know that kids need 60 minutes of exercise a day to stay healthy and reach their full potential, so having access to fun opportunities to get moving could not be more important,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “The USTA has provided thousands of kids the chance to run and play, to learn a new game and perfect their skills, and to make new friends in a safe environment. I am incredibly proud of the USTA’s commitment to encouraging kids to lead healthy lifestyles and to opening new doors to explore a wonderful sport they can enjoy for the rest of their lives.”
“The USTA’s Youth Tennis initiative was designed to make it easier and more fun to get involved in the game, and our commitment to creating and refurbishing youth-sized tennis courts across the country has been another step toward making the sport more accessible to more kids,” said Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman, CEO and President.
Through its facilities assistance arm, the USTA has built and renovated more than 4,500 youth-sized tennis courts in 371 markets in 44 states in 2012. In all, the USTA has constructed or refurbished 10,000 kid-sized courts since 2005. The courts were built in public parks, schoolyards, tennis facilities and at local community-based youth organizations.
“By providing infrastructure, the USTA’s efforts will help foster the game at the grass-roots level and get more kids active,” said Fernandez. “In addition, these efforts will help improve communities across the country and I am thrilled to be part of this momentous occasion.”