Friday, November 4, 2011

Department Recognized for Tennis Programs

The department received the Community Outreach of the Year Award from the United States Tennis Association’s Virginia District at the organization’s annual meeting and awards luncheon held at the Country Club of Virginia on October 29.  Department Director Dr. Norman C. Merrifield and the department’s tennis program coordinator, Victor Rizzi, accepted the award on the behalf of the city and Mayor Dwight C. Jones.
     “We are extremely proud of this recognition,” said Dr. Merrifield. “Opening the doors for Richmond’s youth to play tennis is part of our mission to provide healthy, rewarding and even life-altering activities, and I would like to thank the Richmond Tennis Association for partnering with us to present these opportunities,” he said.
     In addition, the United States Tennis Association’s MidAtlantic Division has announced that it will present its Junior Tournament of the Year Award to Richmond’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities at its annual meeting and awards luncheon November 19 in Herndon, VA.
     Both awards recognize the department for hosting three low-cost junior tennis tournaments on the city’s tennis courts in Battery Park. The Battery Park Junior Open Tournaments were held in May, August and October as part of the USTA Virginia Grassroots Player Development program, specifically designed to make tournament opportunities available at low cost. Approximately 70 youth between the ages of 8 and 18 participated in each of the tournaments, which attracted many new tournament players and young players in the eight and under and ten and under age divisions.
To host the three tournaments, the department partnered with the Richmond Tennis Association, which provided volunteers to help staff the games as well as score cards and gifts for the players, which were funded by a MidAtlantic USTA grant. The tournaments were the first in many years to be hosted by the department at the Battery Park tennis courts, which were renovated by the department in 2008 following the destruction of Tropical Storm Gaston.