The Dallas Park and Recreation Department with help from the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the USTA Texas Section and the Dallas Tennis Association (DTA) has transformed the city’s oldest tennis courts into the first public park QuickStart Tennis facility in Texas and the largest permanent QuickStart Tennis site in a public park in the United States.
The grand opening for the QuickStart Tennis courts at Kiest Park is planned for Friday, March 19 at the Oak Cliff Park, 3012 South Hampton Road. At 12:00 p.m., Park Department officials and representatives from each tennis organization will join with local tennis enthusiasts in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate Dallas’ newest recreational facility. QuickStart Tennis demonstrations and specialized drills will begin at 11:00 a.m. and continue after the ribbon cutting with prizes donated by Wilson.
With renovations complete, the eight 70-year-old asphalt courts at Kiest Park have now been transformed into the nation’s largest permanent QuickStart Tennis site. As a result of the renovations, local Dallas youth will have the opportunity to hone their skills on sixteen new post-tension concrete courts, featuring twelve 36’ courts alongside four regulation-sized courts with lines marked for 60’ courts.
Initiated by the USTA, QuickStart Tennis is an innovative instruction and play format that introduces the sport to youth ages 10 and under. QuickStart Tennis appropriately scales down all aspects of regulation tennis – including equipment, court dimensions, ball bouncing and scoring so the game is specifically tailored to children’s age and size.
“QuickStart Tennis lets young players experience success from the very first swing. With the addition of this new facility, the Park Department is giving youth another recreational option and a chance to learn a unique lifelong sport,” said Paul Dyer, Park Department Director. The department also operates five full-service tennis centers that offer tennis activities and programs for all ages.
Dyer said the city collaborated with the three tennis organizations to share renovation costs, which totaled more than $500,000. “We appreciate the assistance of USTA, USTA Texas and DTA in helping to create this one-of-a-kind opportunity for our youth. Through their generosity, we are able to take something old and turn it into a brand new leisure experience for Dallas.”
Thanks to the DTA, a non-profit organization, QuickStart Tennis participants receive free racquets and instruction from tennis professionals managed by Bert Cole, the DTA Director of Junior Recreation and a Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame recipient. The DTA’s Invest in a Child program offers free instruction and tennis activities year round at Kiest Park.
“The DTA is excited about the new Kiest Park courts,” said Tina Anderson, DTA Executive Director. “Replacing the old regulation courts in need of repair, the temporary QuickStart nets and the tape-drawn lines with a permanent facility will improve the quality of our kids’ program and ability to teach the game.”
“Dallas Tennis Association in partnership with Dallas Park and Recreation prides itself on growing tennis in urban neighborhoods. QuickStart Tennis at Kiest Park will offer an innovative program for young players that is unsurpassed,” said Ken McAllister, Executive Director USTA Texas.
“The USTA is proud to have played a part in the development of QuickStart Tennis in Kiest Park,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “Our design and technical advice are part of our longstanding effort to support the growth of tennis programming across the country, and the Dallas Tennis Association’s vision to implement youth tennis at Kiest Park should be commended. This is just the beginning of tennis becoming more assessable and fun for children and families, and we are interested in partnering with more cities such as Dallas to further our goal of growing tennis among this country’s youth.”
About Dallas Park and Recreation – The award-winning Dallas Park and Recreation Department offers diverse leisure programs year round at conveniently located recreational facilities. It is the nation’s 7th largest municipal park system and features 374 parks that span 18,600 acres, 17 lakes including the ever-popular White Rock Lake, more than 200 athletic fields, and nearly 100 miles of urban trails. It provides other recreational options at six golf courses, five tennis centers, community swimming pools, two shooting ranges, and the state-of-the art Kiest Softball Complex. Special interest parks appeal to skateboarders, canines and their human companions and disc golfers. Entertainment and educational venues include Fair Park – a National Historic Landmark, Bahama Beach Waterpark and the Dallas Zoo and Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park. Visit dallasparks.org for more information.
About Dallas Tennis Association – The Dallas Tennis Association, a non-profit Community Tennis Association (CTA), has promoted tennis as a lifelong sport by providing education, programs and events for the enjoyment of everyone in the greater Dallas community since 1930. With more than 5,000 members and hundreds of volunteers, DTA offers year-round leagues, USTA sanctioned tournaments and clinics, National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL), Junior Team Tennis (JTT), workshops and other activities for all ages. As part of the Invest in a Child program, DTA promotes junior-level players through school assemblies and tournaments and provides no-cost after-school, hearing-impaired and multicultural tennis programs for low-income children. For more information, visit www.dta.org.
About USTA Texas – USTA Texas is the governing body tennis in Texas and the leader in promoting and developing the sport’s growth - from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It is one of 17 sections across the U.S. and Puerto Rico that make up the USTA. A not-for-profit organization with 53,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. Visit www.texas.usta.com for more information.
About USTA – USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with 740,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 90-plus Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and through tennis, helps underserved youth and people with disabilities to improve academics, build character and strive for excellence. For more information on the USTA, log on to www.usta.com.
About QuickStart Tennis – QuickStart Tennis is a new play format developed to help kids 10 and under play the game of tennis. To make the game more accessible to children, several elements have been modified including the court size, the racquet size, the balls, the scoring system and even the net height.