HOLLAND - The DeWitt Tennis Center at Hope College has been named the national 2010 "Public Facility of the Year" by the Professional Tennis Registry" (PTR).
The PTR presented the award on Sunday, Feb. 14, during its 2010 PTR International Tennis Symposium being held Friday-Thursday, Feb. 12-18, at the PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
The six-court center, which opened in August 1994, was honored for the array and quality of programs that it offers to its members as well as the Holland tennis community.
"Our club is known as a place that has excellent teaching, and we develop a lot of outstanding players, particularly in our Junior program," said Jorge Capestany, who has managed the DeWitt Tennis Center since the fall of 2003.
The DeWitt Tennis Center features instruction year-round for young players from kindergarten age through the high school level, including through an intensive, nine-week tennis academy held each summer.
Since 2003, the DeWitt Tennis Center has produced more than 24 high school state champions, as well as nine Midwest qualifiers in USTA competition. Across their overall careers, Capestany and his staff have developed more than 180 high school state champions in Michigan as well as three national champions.
The center offers annual memberships for individual community members and families, and its services also include adult tennis clinics and private lessons. The center has also served as a resource for the PTR, including serving as a host site for filming and editing of the registry's "Preparation for Certification" DVD.
The award follows a challenging and even painful year for the center and its staff. On June 19, the facility's six indoor courts were flooded with four feet of water during the violent summer storm that dumped some seven inches of rain on the Holland area in just a few hours, prompting the center to close for two months while the courts were resurfaced. On July 3, the center's assistant manager, Karen Page, who was also coach of the college's women's tennis team, died following a long battle with cancer. Capestany accepted the award on Page's behalf.
Capestany, who is a 28-year veteran of the tennis industry, is one of only 10 people worldwide to hold Master Professional distinction with both the PTR and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). In addition to Capestany, the center's full-time staff includes Nate Price, who is director of tennis and a USPTA Professional and PTR Professional; and Matt Bradley, who is a PTR Professional.
The DeWitt Tennis Center is located along Fairbanks Avenue near Holland Municipal Stadium. In addition to its six courts, the 40,000-square-foot building features men's and women's locker rooms, and a large waiting reception area. The center is named in honor of the Gary and Joyce DeWitt family.
Founded in 1976, the PTR is the largest global organization of tennis-teaching professionals, with more than 14,000 members in 122 countries. The registry's mission is to educate, certify and serve tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.
In addition to its awards program, the 2010 PTR International Tennis Symposium includes 50-plus on-court and classroom presentations for tennis teachers and coaches, a tennis trade show and a $25,000 Championship competition.