Anonymous Donor Offers Challenge Match for Crozet Tennis Courts

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Planned full-size tennis courts at Claudius Crozet Park.

Crozet could have its first public full-size tennis courts at Claudius Crozet Park as early as this summer. The two courts will complement the three kid-sized, 36-foot QuickStart courts finished last spring.

Although the two new courts will be full size for adult play, they will have blended lines to accommodate QuickStart Tennis players ages nine and ten, and will be convertible into 12 additional 36-foot courts for kids eight and under. Once completed, there is the potential for Crozet to have its own junior tennis team and junior tournaments. The courts will be the only public tennis courts located in the Crozet Growth Area.

QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia (QCV), an all-volunteer nonprofit based in Ivy, is partnering with Claudius Crozet Park to raise funds for the new courts. Lynda Harrill, QCV’s vice president and founder, said that thanks to a local anonymous donor who has made a generous 1-for-2 match challenge grant of up to $20,000, construction can start as soon as an additional $27,000 is raised from other donors by July 31.

The total cost of these courts, about $108,000, will count toward satisfying Crozet Park’s legal obligation to Albemarle County to build $200,000 worth of recreational improvements within the next six years.

In early 2012, the County reallocated $200,000 in capital funds intended for tennis courts, basketball courts and trails so that the park’s Community Building could be remodeled into a recreation center for the YMCA to operate along with the pool. In exchange for the reallocation, the park agreed to build $200,000 in recreational amenities by 2019. Although the County refused to count the three 36-foot QuickStart courts towards the $200,000 obligation, it has said it will count the two full-size courts.

Micaela Barclay of Crozet was instructed by WAHS tennis coach Ellen Markowitz on the new QuickStart courts last summer.

Crozet resident Heidi Sonen, who was instrumental in raising funds to put a dome over the pool and getting the YMCA involved at the park said, “I hope the community will step up and help us raise the remaining funds we need. We are so lucky to have this in our community, but timing is really important and we are so close. Tennis is a lifelong sport, so it’s really important to get kids involved early. These courts will allow all kids access to tennis without having to be a member of private club.”

“It’s wonderful to see kids playing on QuickStart courts at the Park,” said Harrill. “Two full-size courts will complete the tennis pathway at the park and give western Albemarle residents of all ages a place to play this lifetime sport. Anyone can play tennis at the park.”

“Our anonymous donor has stepped up out of love for the sport and kids, and we are deeply appreciative,” she said.

Those interested in contributing to the project or serving on the Crozet Park Tennis Committee can contact Harrill at [email protected] or 434-244-9644.