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USTA honors Cooper Tennis Complex for excellence

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Stadium court at Cooper

The Springfield Lasers return to action for their 20th season on Sunday, July 31, at the award-winning Cooper Tennis Complex’s combination of outdoor and indoor recreational courts, with the stadium court as the centerpiece. The number one American men’s professional, John Isner, will be featured on July 11.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y – The U.S. Tennis Association today announced that Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield is one of 12 winners in the 35th annual USTA Facility Awards program, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country.

Cooper Tennis Complex will be honored at the USTA Semi-annual Meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on September 1st at an Awards luncheon.

The Cooper Tennis Complex is home to one local high school team, four collegiate teams and the World Team Tennis Springfield Lasers. The facility hosts all levels of USTA events, including Play Days, 10 and Under events, as well as USTA sanctioned tournaments. Junior Team Tennis, Tennis On Campus and USTA Adult local leagues compete at Cooper making this one of the busiest tennis facilities in the state. Cooper Tennis outreach programs include the Springfield Public Schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, Arc of the Ozarks, Solutions, Neighborhood Associations, and area churches.

John Isner, the No.1 U.S. men’s professional will be playing for the Lasers during their 20th season on Aug. 11. Other professionals scheduled to compete against the Lasers in Springfield include Bob & Mike Bryan, Martina Hingis, Sam Query and Mardy Fish playing Aug. 1 for the Washington Kastles; and Caroline Wozniacki on Aug. 2, playing for the Philadelphia Freedoms.

“Great tennis facilities like the Cooper Tennis Complex help us to grow the game at the grass-roots level, and we are proud to recognize them for their ongoing impact on the sport of tennis,” says Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “The Cooper Tennis Complex has embraced many of our tennis initiatives and kept the sport at the forefront of its community each year.”

To be considered for an award, facilities must be under the jurisdiction of a park and recreation department, an educational institution, a nonprofit corporation or be a private or commercially owned and operated facility that offers both USTA and public programming designed to help grow tennis.

Facilities were judged on the following criteria: overall layout and adaptation to site; excellence of court surface and lights; ease of maintenance; accommodations for players, spectators and press/officials; aesthetics; graphics (including the use of signs and landscaping); amenities such as casual seating for spectators, food services and social areas; and the facilities’ participation in USTA programs.

Nominated facilities were voted on in the following categories: Public Courts that are either small tennis centers with 2-10 courts or large tennis centers with 11 or more courts; Educational Institutions; and Private Facilities that support the USTA and other “growth of the game” programs open to the public.

All 2016 award winners will receive a wall plaque and an all-weather sign, which can be mounted at the facility. Certificates of award will be made available to park and recreation departments, schools and those professionals responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the facility. In addition, a one-year complimentary membership to the USTA will be awarded to each winning facility.

The 2016 USTA Facility Awards Program winners are:

Public Courts: Large Tennis Centers (11 or more courts)

  • Cherry Hill Health & Racquet Club – Cherry Hill, N.J.
  • Cooper Tennis Complex – Springfield, Mo.
  • Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex – Clearwater, Fla. Oak
  • Brook Tennis Center – Oak Brook, Ill.
  • Oklahoma City Tennis Center – Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Sound Shore Indoor Tennis LLC – Port Chester, N.Y.
  • Owensboro Tennis Facility – Owensboro, Ky.
  • The Candy Erickson Tennis Center – Park City, Utah (Featured Facility)

Public Courts: Small Tennis Centers (2 to 10 courts)

  • San Sebastian Tennis Courts – San Sebastian, P.R.

Educational Institution:

  • McCallie School Strang-Voges Tennis Center – Chattanooga, Tenn. Michael & Anne Greenwood Tennis Center – Stillwater, Okla.

Private Facilities

  • Sea Colony Tennis – Bethany Beach, Del.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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