Althea Gibson Tennis Center
To make a reservation at the Althea Gibson Tennis Center, call 910-341-4631, email to email@example.com or stop by the tennis clubhouse.
What is the Althea Gibson Tennis Center at Empie Park?
- A 24 court state-of-the-art public tennis facility. When completed it will be the largest tennis center in North Carolina east of I-95
- Honors the accomplishments of Althea Gibson, who was trained in Wilmington
- During her amateur career Althea won 56 singles and doubles titles and later, 11 major titles in the late 1950s. These included singles titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and the U. S. Open, as well as three straight doubles crowns at the French. She was the first African-American women to accomplish this.
- A Public – Private Partnership to benefit the Greater Wilmington Area
- Initial public funding of $1.5 Million voted on in 2006
- Greater Wilmington Tennis Association raised $47,000
Wilmington is “Tennis Town – North Carolina”
- Over 5,200 adults players participated in United State Tennis Association leagues in 2009
- Number of tennis players per 100, 000 population in North Carolina is 237
- Number of tennis players per 100, 000 population in Wilmington is 1,137
How will it benefit the Community?
Center will allow for the expansion of youth and adult tennis programs that are limited today by lack of available courts. These courts will accommodate:
- More middle school students in the after school tennis program (250 girls and 160 boys participated in 2009)
- More children in the Spring and Fall QuickStart tennis programs (350 kids participated in 20009)
- Growth of the Junior Team Tennis Program (225 players participated in 2009)
- Almost 1,500 non-private club tennis players in town
- Many senior players (non-private club members) who require soft courts in order to play tennis
The Life Style and Education Center (Proposal)
- A new Life Style and Education Center on site will offer additional opportunities for adults and children.
- The center will provide free After School programming focusing on academic enrichment designed to improve grades, attendance and test results in school. The program will offer diverse learning opportunities including activities to:
- Develop decision-making and leadership skills;
- Accomplish learning in specific areas;
- Offer career exploration; and
- Foster a sense of respect for one’s self, others, and the environment.
The QuickStart tennis program will be provided free of charge by the Greater Wilmington Tennis Association to all children from:
- Communities In Schools of Cape Fear
- Community Boys and Girls Club
- Brigade Boys and Girls Club
- Wilmington Housing Authority
- YMCA of Wilmington (Children with disabilities program)
Additional programming at the Life Style and Education Center will include:
- Computer classes
- Life style classes focusing on obesity, yoga and other health related subjects
- Reaching out to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play tennis
- Giving all kids (regardless of income, race, gender) the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills so they can derive a life time of enjoyment from the sport
- The center will be large enough to host state or national tournaments with major positive economic impact for the community
- North Carolina Tennis Association Combo State Championship – Over 2,200 players anticipated