FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Lauren McGrath
Ribbon-Cutting Marks Third Restoration for Tennis Development Organization
26 August, 2017 – When they opened some 50 years ago, the tennis court adjacent to the city’s Sumner Houses displayed a bright green hue, with clear white lines and a clean surface. Absentee players and neglect left the court cracked and pock-marked, however, with a bit of flora sprouting up in inauspicious places – until a group of kids decided to make them home to a tennis club in 2014.
Three years later, the Sumner court has not only a fresh blue and green asphalt coat similar to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, but also light blue lines inside standard court boundaries for teaching younger kids. The renovation comes to Sumner Houses courtesy of the Sumner Tennis Club and its parent organization, Kings County Tennis League.
The group officially cuts the ribbon on Saturday, September 26, but practices have already begun and the kids from the Sumner Club have already given the court a nod of approval. “With the renovation at Sumner, KCTL can now expand its after-school and Upswing programs to that site, allowing 20-25 students extra court time and enabling younger students to benefit twice a week for two hours through the summer, potentially more,” said David Webley, KCTL’s Program Manager.
“The renovation will go a long way to improving the regular Saturday session held at Sumner and attract new children to tennis, as well as encourage kids living in the Sumner housing development to go and practice on their own – as we provide them with all equipment they need,” Webley said. He added that the new court showed KCTL’s commitment to its mission of building and strengthening the communities where it teaches.
The Sumner Houses court is KCTL’s third tennis restoration project on Myrtle Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. In 2014, KCTL funded the resurfacing of the tennis court at Marcy Houses and, in spring 2017, collaborated with the administration of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to create two youth-size tennis courts in the Tompkins Houses courtyard in time for the Tompkins Club season-opener on June 3.
The $19,000 resurfacing at Sumner compares to the one KCTL undertook at the Marcy playground and the funding was raised through individual donors and a grant from the United States Tennis Association (USTA). “Our vision is that this is a long term investment in the community,” said KCTL Founder and President Michael McCasland. “Kids can now play on a functional regulation court as early as five and by 10, be competing.”
WHO: Kings County Tennis League and the Sumner Tennis Club
WHAT: New court ribbon-cutting ceremony
WHERE: Sumner Houses, 983 Myrtle Ave, Brooklyn; after-party at Cafe Erzuile, 894 Broadway
WHEN: Sat, August 26, 2017, 3PM – 5:30 PM EDT
WHY: Community tennis is building in Bed-Stuy!
About KCTL: Kings County Tennis League (KCTL) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that uses tennis as an instrument for youth development and community building in underserved neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY. KCTL currently has five clubs reaching more than 100 children under its direction: Marcy, Tompkins, Sumner, Jackie Robinson and Lafayette Gardens.