QuickStart Tennis Courts Open at Crozet Elementary

Crozet Elementary School principal Gwedette Crummie speaking at the school’s QuickStart Tennis courts ribbon cutting on August 29.
Crozet Elementary School principal Gwedette Crummie speaking at the school’s QuickStart Tennis courts ribbon cutting on August 29.

County dignitaries and QuickStart Tennis director Lynda Harrill gathered at Crozet Elementary School Aug. 29 to cut the ribbon on three QuickStart Tennis courts behind the school. QuickStart courts are smaller than regulation tennis courts and are designed to enable young players to master skills before moving on to the bigger court.

The courts were built with a $65,000 gift from QuickStart Tennis of Central Virginia, which is led by the indefatigable Harrill, as well as other contributors. The program has been used in the school’s physical education program for five years. “Crozet Elementary has become a true QuickStart school,” said Harrill buoyantly.

“It’s like a mini-version of the U.S. Open!” said Principal Gwedette Crummie to the crowd, which included the school’s entire third grade class, who were waiting for their chance to get on the courts. Two large tubs of rackets, donated by QuickStart last year, were positioned near the gate.

The school likes Quickstart because it promotes an active and healthy lifestyle, Crummie said, the students report that the program made this year’s summer school “the best ever,” a chorus of “Yes!” answered back from the student ranks.

Crummie is now on QuickStart’s board, too.

Crozet Elementary School  QuickStart Tennis courts ribbon cutting on August 29
Crozet Elementary School QuickStart Tennis courts ribbon cutting on August 29

Supervisor Ann Mallek praised the project as representing a model sort of private and public alliance. “This has been a great partnership and we are ready for even more,” she said.

Crozet parent Heidi Sonen, who had suggested QuickStart as an after school program, praised Harrill for her “can-do attitude.” Sonen mentioned that her QuickStart-trained daughter is now playing tennis with her 80-year-old grandmother, proof that tennis really is a game for all ages.

The Crozet Lions Club said it will donate picnic tables for the site in the spring. County Parks and Rec staff will handle maintenance of the courts, which were installed A.G. Dillard Company.



  1. I use Crozet School as a park for basketball, soccer, and baseball as I can walk to it from my house. I wish there was an adult size tennis court next to the kids one.

    • I agree!
      I’m sure there are good intentions with the QuickStart tennis courts, but I don’t fully understand why we are training children on non-standard sized courts. By not providing standard sized courts, how can these children grow to play the true sport of tennis? Crozet needs standard sized courts that will benefit both children and adults. It’s hard to believe we received a $65k donation on “mini” courts when standardized courts would have served a larger segment of the community, including the children.

      • Hi K and Mark!

        I guess you haven’t heard about the kid-sized QuickStart Tennis format. Would you expect a Little Leaguer to play baseball on a Major League baseball field? Would you expect an 6 or 8 year-old to use a full-height basketball goal as a beginner?

        QuickStart Tennis is a progression that makes learning tennis much easier for kids.

        Kids 8 and under are supposed to play on 36-foot courts with red balls (25% of bounce and speed of a yellow ball) and with racquets 19, 21 or 23 inches long. The net height is lower. The courts and equipment are proportionate to a kid’s height and physical abilities. They have FUN and don’t get frustrated. These courts are also a lot of FUN for adults.

        Kids 9 – 10 play on a 60-foot court which can be delineated on a full-size court with blended lines and use orange balls (50%). There are six full-size courts at WAHS and they have blended lines.

        At age 11 kids are ready for the full-size court. Some kids are ready before then. QuickStart is customized to suit the kids.

        Please check out our website and this will all make sense to you. http://www.quickstartcentral.org.

        As for building full-size courts . . . we had to find 12 different donors to raise the money for the Crozet Elementary courts and it took 10 donors for the three courts we built at Crozet Park in 2012.

        If you’d like to lead an effort to build full-size courts in Crozet, I would be happy to talked to you about what’s entailed in partnering with the County and raising funds, etc. Two full-size courts will cost $130,000 – $135,000.


        • Hi Lynda,
          I am aware of the intentions for the QuickStart Tennis program, but thank you for the explanation. I still think kids, no matter what age, can learn on an adult size tennis court. I personally started lessons at age five and never thought, “I wish there was a smaller size court for me to play on, or special tennis balls, or special nets”. Your analogy of the lower height basketball hoop makes sense, but in terms of tennis, any good coach can adjust their teaching style to help younger kids learn the game.
          We have since moved out of Crozet, but full size courts would have been a nice feature to offer the community as a whole.


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