ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico tennis program has been selected by the United States Tennis Association to receive $30,000 in USTA Facility Grant funds. The USTA Facility Assistance Program aims to provide communities access to safe, appealing and functional tennis environments.
“The essence of this initiative is to assist communities, leveraging their tennis facilities to promote lifelong healthy activity, and improve their programming by advancing the latest tennis innovations for all program types,” said Virgil Christian, USTA Senior Director of Market Development & Collegiate Tennis. “We are happy to partner with UNM to help achieve this goal in Albuquerque, N.M.”
UNM recently put the finishing touches on its newly built tennis facility, the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium, and the grant will allow the Lobo tennis program to better promote the new courts and allow UNM to utilize the new stadium to its full potential.
“We are obviously very excited about the opening of the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium and are very thankful to the USTA for the facility grant we are receiving,” UNM women’s tennis head coach Erica Jasper said. “These funds will help us ensure that this facility is a state of the art collegiate facility and will help us not only host high level collegiate events, but also support the Albuquerque tennis community and its initiatives. The USTA and its facility team have done an amazing job providing guidance and supporting us through this process—thank you USTA!”
UNM men’s tennis interim head coach Bart Scott has also expressed great enthusiasm and appreciation for the generous USTA grant.
"We're so excited about this grant,” Scott said. “We want to thank the USTA, especially the facilities team for this generous grant. With the USTA grant, and in our opinion, the top collegiate tennis center in our region, the dream of hosting major college, junior, adult, and professional tournaments at UNM is shaping up to become a reality.”
Aside from hosting several home matches, UNM is playing host to the 2014 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Women’s Mountain Regionals in October and the 2015 Mountain West Tennis Championships in April, so the new facilities will gain a lot of exposure throughout the upcoming year.
“With the women's team hosting Regionals and both teams co-hosting the MWC championships, it's going to be an amazing first year for the facility,” Scott said. “I'd like to personally thank Tim Cass and Erica Jasper for all their hard work on this grant and of course another huge thanks to the USTA!"
Tim Cass, UNM Athletics Chief Operating Officer and former Lobo tennis player, has played a large role in helping the vision of a new tennis facility come to life.
“Partnering with the USTA on this project from beginning to end has been terrific,” Cass said. “The USTA provided significant architectural services, consulting, and now this special grant helps us put the finishing touches on the McKinnon Family Tennis Stadium.
Schools can apply for funds through the USTA Facility Assistance Program throughout the year.
In 2013, the USTA allocated over $1.2 million through the Facility Assistance Program to help support public tennis facility enhancements, renovations, and new construction projects.
More from USTA on the Facility Assistance Program:
“The need for new tennis facilities or improvements at existing facilities is not, in and of itself, sufficient justification for a grant. The Public Facility Assistance Program is intended to have a major impact on the growth of tennis in a community and the clients served by that organization. Our review includes a thorough evaluation of the programmatic, administrative, financial and organizational accomplishments of the applicant.”
For more information on the USTA Facility Grant Program, head to the link below.