Beginning March 20th, “Order on the Court” will be the rule as tennis enthusiasts from five to sixty plus hit the courts for Collierville’s spring tennis season. Collierville’s Parks Tennis Program is designed to make the sport of tennis available to anyone who wants to learn the game in a fun environment. Collierville Parks offers tennis in the spring, summer and fall which includes camps, instructional clinics for youth and adults, adult recreational tennis leagues, United States Tennis Association (USTA) Adult Leagues, USTA Jr.(Middle School Age) Team Tennis, as well as, individual and team private instruction.
Collierville offers ten tennis courts, six lighted courts at H.W. Cox Park, two lighted courts at the Frank Road Tennis Courts and two courts at Estanaula Park. Tennis instructional programs and matches are scheduled on the courts through the Parks department at H.W. Cox Park. When scheduled tennis programs are not taking place at H.W.Cox Park, the courts are free to the public on a first come first “serve” basis. Tennis courts at Frank Road and Estanaula are not used for programs they are left open for public use. Collierville’s courts at H.W. Cox Park are also used by Collierville Schools for high school tennis practice and tournaments.
More than thirty million people play tennis. Although tennis has been a popular sport for decades there has been a marked increase in participation in youth tennis programs recently, which is evident in the Collierville Tennis program.
“For about the last five years we have seen a steady increase in participation among youth in our programs,” said Lisa Gaither, Recreational Program Coordinator. “More families living in Collierville, the popularity of tennis around the country and the affordable costs of participating in tennis are contributing factors in the growth of our programs.”
For example Collierville tennis clinics charge $16 per hour for instruction during an eight week session, so for about $135 dollars and the costs of a racket (about $30) an individual can get started on their way to learning the game of Tennis, a sport which can be enjoyed for a lifetime.
Collierville tennis program participants learn basic skills, rules, scoring and etiquette on the courts through instructional play. The youngest players (ages 5-10) learn with modified equipment and on a smaller court. Then they advance to the middle school program (ages 12-14), where instruction continues with daily practices and weekend matches, set up to help young players progress in the game. After age 14, some players continue with adult clinics and programs.
Collierville uses the services of local tennis pros MJ Garnet and Tony Cherone for Collierville Park’s tennis programs. Garnett and Cherone along with their staff have decades of experience instructing children and adults, as well as group clinics/camps, organizing leagues, and hosting tournaments and special events. The Town has been proud to announce over the years when local USTA Leagues qualify for State/Regional/National Championships as was the case in 2010 when Coach Tony led a Collierville team to the USTA National Title. Collierville Parks seasonal youth and adult instructional clinics average 80 participants, the recreational leagues have 3-5 teams, Jr Team Tennis has 40-50 participants and the Collierville High School (CHS) Tennis Team includes46 players. Collierville’s Jr. Team Tennis and CHS Team have the largest number of players compared to other teams in the Memphis Metropolitan Area. The Town of Collierville Parks and Recreation Department is also a USTA Member.
The current spring instructional tennis season begins March 20th and runs through the end of May; registration is open online at everysport.net/collierville. If you are interested in checking out some tennis action, schedules for Jr. Team Tennis/CHS Tennis/USTA matches are available on the Town web site here. Questions call Collierville Parks Administration at 901-457-2770.
(Pictured above: Jr. Team Tennis Practice Day on the Courts at Cox Park. Pictured below: 2015 Memphis City Tournament Champs.)