Year-old tennis association 60 members strong

Published 9:55 am Friday, March 9, 2012

FRANKLIN—Interest in tennis has grown thanks to a one-year-old local organization.

The Western Tidewater Tennis Association has attracted 60 members since its inception. In addition, participation in youth tennis classes at the James L. Camp Jr. YMCA has doubled, said Tennis Pro Ken Cussick.

“The WTTA has given me the opportunity to increase awareness of tennis and publicize it in a way I couldn’t do on my own,” Cussick said. “The organization has opened the area to tennis.”

WTTA President Sheryl Raulston said increased awareness will help get people to the indoor courts at the YMCA, six outdoor courts at Cypress Creek Country Club, two downtown courts, five at Franklin High School, two at Paul D. Camp Community College and two at Camptown Park.

“We probably have the best facilities for a city this size,” Raulston said. “We have the facilities and we need to use them.”

The WTTA received a $1,000 start-up grant from the U.S. Tennis Association, but has since relied on $10 annual membership dues and sponsorships.

In the past year the WTTA donated used tennis racquets to Franklin High School and held tennis clinics at Franklin and Windsor high schools, youth summer camps at Cypress Cove Country Club and local clinics and tournaments.

Cussick holds three levels of classes at the YMCA in the winter and at the country club in the summer. Those classes also are open to non-YMCA members and range from Quick Start for ages 5, 6, and 7 to junior varsity and high school groups. Cussick said size, strength, age, ability level and desire determine where a student is placed.

Cussick also holds an adult clinic that is free to YMCA members. For more information, call the YMCA at 563-3491.