2009 Community Tennis Association of the Year: Western Wake T.A.
What makes a great CTA? Programming and activities, of course. But the Western Wake Tennis Association in Western Wake County, N.C., goes well beyond that. And for 2009, the WWTA is RSI’s CTA of the Year.
“Western Wake has everything,” says David Slade, the USTA’s national manager of CTAs. “They’ve taken QuickStart Tennis to the next level with permanent courts, they have a strong board, great programming, relationships with park & recs and towns, and more.”
WWTA, with 2,600 members, offers league play, sanctioned tournaments for adults and juniors, youth tennis, events for seniors, player development, academic scholarships to college, scholarships to attend tennis camps, and tennis for special populations, including wheelchair players and Special Olympics events.
The organization’s strength, says WWTA President Donna Gast, is its membership. “We’ve been able to recruit committed volunteers to whom tennis has become more than just a game — it’s become a lifestyle, one that we want to share,” she says.
The CTA provided QuickStart equipment to all five park & rec departments in its local area, as well as equipment to private clubs. In 2009, WWTA took the program a step further with the introduction of its Physical Education Tennis Program, which provides training and equipment to six public elementary schools in the area. WWTA plans to expand the program to the remaining 26 public elementary schools.
Careful, steady growth has been the hallmark of the association. “We realize there are programs and needs that we can’t meet ourselves,” says Gast. As a result, WWTA has partnered with other CTAs, charitable organizations and with the Cary Tennis Park to achieve its goals.
Tips for success
- “Prioritize your efforts, and pick a small number of projects to go whole-hog on,” says Gast.
- Grow your efforts slowly and put quality into your projects.
- Think big, but be prepared to follow up.
See all articles by Mary Helen Sprecher
About the Author
Mary Helen Sprecher is the managing editor of Sports Destinations Management Magazine, a niche business-to-business publication for planners of sports travel events, in addition to being an RSI Contributing Editor. She is the technical writer for the American Sports Builders Association and works as a newspaper reporter in Baltimore City.