Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis Center and facility director Jeff Clark were recently recognized with outstanding facility and management awards. Both the United State Tennis Association (USTA) and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) named the tennis center “Facility of the Year” and the USPTA named Clark the “Missouri Valley’s Facility Manager of the Year.” Following are more details about the awards.
- The USTA facility award goes to a center within the Missouri Valley section (Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Missouri) that has outstanding programming, facility aesthetics and has made significant improvements in community tennis.
- The USPTA facility award is given to a center that has improved its layout, facility aesthetics, amenities and accommodations for players, spectators, press and officials.
- The Facility Manager of the Year award is given to a general manager of a public tennis center, commercial tennis center, country club, or resort. The manager must support the USPTA and its professionals, encourage professional development of facility staff and promote tennis within the community.
“We’d like to express our gratitude to the Wichita City Council which had a vision for the Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis Center and set aside the funds for its growth,” Clark said. “It is a great honor to receive all three awards in the same year.”
Riverside is a public tennis facility that requires no membership fees, providing high quality and extremely affordable tennis opportunities to the community. To learn more about the center’s programs, please visit the Department of Park & Recreation website.
The awards follow improvements that were made to the center last summer. The outdoor tennis courts were resurfaced, the windbreak system was upgraded, new lighting was added for nighttime play and courtside benches and new awning were added over the bleachers on Stadium Court. Riverside has also continued to increase its tennis programs, led by USPTA certified instructors. The center’s staffers provide outreach programs for USD 259 middle schools and offer free lessons for the Wichita district’s elementary school students.
Capital Improvement Funds provided the maintenance on the court resurface and outdoor lights. The Greenway Alliance provided the funding for the new windscreens and the 50 plus volunteers who spent three days installing them, saving more than $17,000 in installation costs. Various individuals donated funding and time building the courtside benches and stadium court awning. The Maureen Connolly Brinker Tennis Foundation (MCB) and Kansas District Tennis Association (KDTA) provided funding for the outreach programs.