On July 11, representatives from Chase, City Parks Foundation and the USTA cut the ribbon on the refurbished Wolfe's Pond Park Tennis Courts and opened the courts back up to the public. Chase dedicated funds to ensure that the courts were refurbished and opened after they were severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy. These courts have hosted CityParks Tennis presented by Chase for over a decade, teaching hundreds of children to play the sport each summer completely free of charge.
More than 20 aspiring young tennis players, ages eight to 15, who have participated in free intermediate tennis lessons in Wolfe's Pond Park in previous years, enjoyed the newly opened courts with a free clinic led by City Parks Foundation board member, three-time Grand Slam singles champion, four-time Grand Slam doubles champion, and a long-time youth tennis advocate, Virginia Wade. The players were also greeted by former captain of the United States Davis Cup team and former pro player, Patrick McEnroe, who now serves as the General Manager, USTA Player Development.
“We are the largest employer in New York City, and this is where our employees work and live-- we, too, felt the impacts of Hurricane Sandy," said Mark Rigdon, philanthropy executive at JPMorgan Chase. “That's why this year's long standing partnership with the City Parks Foundation to showcase 'Chase's Aces' is all the more significant.”
With technical and financial support from the USTA’s Disaster Relief Fund and Facility Assistance Program, and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, this initiative is a very positive step forward for the borough of Staten Island, and the tennis community.
"We are committed to the people and parks of Staten Island and are so pleased to be hosting our first ever reopening of tennis courts here in this borough," said Alison Tocci, president of City Parks Foundation. "Over the years, City Parks Foundation and Chase have introduced over half a million youths to this 'sport for life' and produced hundreds of college tennis scholarship recipients, including several who have competed in the U.S. Open."
CityParks Tennis, presented by Chase, is one of the biggest municipal tennis efforts in the U.S., reaching 7,000 kids ages six to 16, each year in 37 parks throughout the five boroughs with free lessons and equipment. The program promotes physical fitness, while building self-confidence and is designed to make the sport of tennis freely available to those who want to learn the game in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.