The Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) Eldorado K-8 School recently unveiled the first permanent, public QuickStart tennis courts to be built in Colorado.
The project got rolling when community advocates Sue Burke and Lisa Christie first approached the school in 2009, since the previous courts at the school were unplayable, behind locked gates.
"Lisa and I wanted to create more tennis opportunities within Boulder Valley School District and introduce QuickStart Tennis to the elementary schools and local community," Burke said.
USTA Intermountain Section Executive Director Terry Walters "facilitated the funding with the USTA and Intermountain, but we still needed additional funding, so we began a long series of meetings with various entities in the BVSD, community tennis organizations, and the Town of Superior, and spent lots of time advocating for the project within the community."
Burke says the economy, school budget cuts and contract negotiations within the district caused many challenges. "Thankfully, Joel Munch, a parent from Eldorado, offered a large donation to bring the project to fruition."
Thanks to a partnership with the USTA, USTA Intermountain, BVSD and the Joel Munch family of Superior, Colo., funds were raised to repair and redesign the courts. Eldorado now has one full-sized court with 60' lines painted on it for 10-and-under play and four 36' courts for 8-and-under play. These are the first 36' courts to be built in Colorado.
"This is a perfect example of a partnership between the USTA, the school district and the community that could be duplicated in other locations providing our 10-and-under youth an opportunity to learn the sport of tennis," said Walters at the Sept. 27 ribbon-cutting. After the ceremony, kids rushed to play on the new courts.
Other dignitaries who attended the opening ceremony included Robyn Hamasaki, Principal; Jeff Van Iwarden, Master of Ceremonies; Fritz Garger, USTA Colorado Executive Director; Tom Josephs, Lee Renner Sports Surfaces; and Joel Munch.
"We hope that with access to permanent QuickStart courts, the tennis community and school district will begin to embrace the QuickStart format," Burke said. "Ultimately, we want kids to think about tennis not as a series of lessons, but as a game that they can go into their neighborhood and play with friends and family."