| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff

The Metropolitan Tennis Group (MTG) is a not-for-profit, Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) organization formed to provide its membership with expanded opportunities to play recreational and competitive tennis. The MTG was formed in 1985 when one of its original members, Terry Fonville, placed an ad in the Village Voice seeking out other gay and lesbian tennis players, and 20 people responded. Thereafter, the group formed and met monthly in what was to become the precursor to MTG’s current social doubles parties. In 1988, MTG formally organized, obtained its not-for-profit status, established a steering committee and elected its first board of directors.

Over the years, the group has grown to approximately 300 members. In addition to social doubles parties, other types of tennis playing events were conceived and established. More than 25 years after its initial inception, MTG continues to expand its membership, events and community outreach efforts. MTG’s current membership is culturally and ethnically diverse and is comprised primarily of residents from the New York City metropolitan and Tri-State area. The age range of the group is from 18-70 years old, and includes players of all levels, from beginners to advanced, experienced lifetime players.

MTG runs many different events throughout the year, including:

►Monthly singles/doubles parties (round-robin singles/doubles play including food and drink social hour);

►Atlantic Cup Competition (team tennis competition between LGBT tennis groups from Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.);

►Winter doubles league (MTG round-robin doubles tournament);

►Summer Ladder (MTG’s summer competition where wins and losses against other members dictates position on the ladder);

►The Marsha Day Club Championship (MTG’s “Club Championship Tournament” whose proceed benefit the Marsha Day Memorial Fund, providing services and assistance to runaway and homeless youths, people living with HIV/AIDS and the indigent);

►The Liberty Open (held each July 4th holiday, when MTG and NYC draws players from all across the country and abroad to this Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance [GLTA] tennis tournament);and 

►The Matthew Shepard Memorial Tennis JAM (MTG’s annual fundraiser consisting of four hours of round-robin play benefiting the Matthew Shepard Foundation), which this year, the group raised $7,500 for the cause.

In 2011, MTG received a USTA grant funding to help hire instructors for beginner tennis parties. As a result, the beginner tennis parties have been consistently selling out and have served as a major vehicle to grow the group.
The number of women in the group has doubled in the past year. They hope to continue that growth in 2012, as well as grow other underrepresented areas of memberships including Hispanics, African-Americans, other immigrant/ethnic groups and people with disabilities.

Members pay annual dues of $45 which cover the annual period from Sept. 1-Aug. 31 of the following year ($25 from March 1-Aug. 31).

If you would like to become a member, or would like more information on the MTG, visit MetroTennisGroup.com or contact the MTG Commissioner Daniel Arzuaga by e-mail at courtsandevents@metrotennisgroup.com.