2009 Municipal Facility of the Year: Reffkin Tennis Center
Jim Reffkin has served as director of tennis for Tucson, Ariz., Parks & Rec for 34 years, directing operations at the award-winning Randolph Tennis Center. In appreciation, the city last September renamed the facility in honor of Reffkin, and RSI is pleased to present our Municipal Facility of the Year award to the recently christened Reffkin Tennis Center.
Under Reffkin, the center expanded from 10 to 25 courts and has won numerous awards. It’s also the site for at least 10 national championship events. Thousands of kids — and adults — go through RTC’s QuickStart Tennis clinics every year, says Reffkin. There are 15 different events using the QST format, and RTC has 10 courts permanently lined for QST, which he says “lends credibility to the program.”
RTC also has a unique “participation pathway,” says Assistant Director of Tennis Jeff Brack. “It’s a logical numerical system, with corresponding tournaments for each level. It keeps the chain of players moving from one level to the next.”
The RTC’s Smith-Perry Tennis Academy is one of the largest junior development programs in the Southwest. The center also has the largest USTA Tennis on Campus program in U.S., with 227 students from the University of Arizona, who, by the way, are trained to teach QST.
“Jim recognizes that the college program encourages these kids to be future leaders in the sport. Very few public tennis centers get that,” says Glenn Arrington, the USTA’s Tennis on Campus national program manager.
The main thing, says Reffkin, “is that we reach every possible level of play, every income level, and age group, and have a rich menu of 90-plus events and tournaments from which the local economy thrives. We want to get a lot of new players and keep growing the game.”
Tips for success
- Make QuickStart Tennis a priority as a dynamic progressive program.
- Encourage total family participation to keep tennis, and your customer base, growing.
- Encourage community involvement and host tournaments.
See all articles by Cynthia Sherman
About the Author
Cynthia Sherman is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.