The Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis Center has been recognized for outstanding facility and management by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), city officials announced Wednesday.
The tennis center, 551 Nims, has served Wichita for more than 11 years by providing lessons and junior and senior leagues on its 10 outdoor and three indoor courts. Jeff Clark, director of the Riverside Tennis Center, also was named Facility Manager of the Year.
“It’s an honor to be rewarded for this facility,” Clark said. “It’s a great thing for the city of Wichita to have.”
The USTA award goes to a center in the Missouri Valley section (Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma and Missouri) that exceeds expectations in programming, facility aesthetics, and involvement with the community.
The center received recognition from the USPTA for improvements in its accommodations and amenities for the facility. The city provided $350,000 for court resurfacing and outdoor lights, Clark said. The center also was given $10,000 by the Greenway Alliance for new windscreens to reduce the affect of Kansas winds on players.
2011 has been a record-breaking year, Clark said, and revenue at the center has increased by 25 percent.
Riverside includes attributes that attract players of all ages. Besides resurfacing one of its courts to create a softer surface for older players, the center also provides outreach programs for USD 259 middle schools and gives free lessons to Wichita elementary school students.
“Anything that can keep people active is a good thing,” Clark said.
The Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation and Kansas District Tennis Association provide the funds used by the outreach programs.
Clark also thanked former City Council member Sue Schlapp for her continued support and contributions to the center.
There is no membership fee to use the center’s facility. The indoor courts cost $16 per hour and outdoor is $4 per hour. The center is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For more information, go to www.wichita.gov/cityoffices/park/tennis.