Published: Friday, March 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012 01:03
It has been 25 years since the UW-Waukesha tennis courts have been renovated. In that time, they have been used for numerous tennis lessons, pick up matches, and UW-Waukesha tennis team practices. However, the courts are now close to useless. The surface has eroded into powder, there are plants growing from cracks, and the lines have faded away.
The tennis team still practices on the dilapidated courts, but they have tried to find other places for their matches. Since the courts could pose a potential safety hazard, the majority of home matches are played at Waukesha North and Waukesha West high schools. Only one match was played on the UW-Waukesha tennis courts last season and a minimal amount are planned for this season.
Coach Neal Nelson has been at the forefront of a request to obtain a grant from the United States Tennis Association (USTA), as well as a spot on the IEM wish list. IEM is a Madison based organization that looks into the needs of the UW colleges and attempts to fulfill them, if they are considered top priority. If the grant from the USTA is established, it would be for either $10,000 in order to get the courts resurfaced, or $150,000 to dig them out completely and build new ones. The most likely option is to simply resurface them due to the lower cost.
Although it has traditionally been overshadowed by the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the tennis team has a rich history of winning. They have been highly competitive in the Wisconsin Junior College Athletic Association (WJCAA) for the past ten seasons and have earned several titles, as well as 2nd place finishes. Nelson stated, “Tennis has done great good for so many people; it is a lifetime sport, and is affordable to almost everyone that has a desire to play.” Nelson would like to see the tennis team’s legacy continue and grow long after he has retired as coach.
Coach Nelson is currently waiting for news about whether or not the grant will be obtained for the new courts. He expects to receive an answer sometime in March, and is optimistic about the prospect of receiving the necessary funds to resurface the courts.