Chicago 2016 on hand to announce newest training centers for Olympic hopefuls

CHICAGO (July 22, 2009)–Representatives from Chicago 2016 and the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), along with Olympic hopeful Evan King, held a press conference today to announce Chicago will be home to three USTA Regional Training Center locations. The Midtown Tennis Club, Score Fitness and Tennis Club and the CARE Academy will comprise the Chicago Midwest Training Center Network.

“Chicago is a very sports-minded town, from intramurals and park programs to amateur leagues and professional sports,” said Patrick G. Ryan, chairman and CEO of Chicago 2016. “Tennis is a very popular sport across the city and the official USTA Training Centers are a welcome addition to the sports community and an opportunity for athletes to take their training to the next level.”

The training centers offer World Sport Chicago, Chicago 2016’s living legacy, a valuable opportunity for youth and Olympic hopefuls to excel in sport. World Sport Chicago has already introduced and engaged more than 30,000 children to Olympic and Paralympic sport programs.

“We are pleased that Chicago has been selected as the home of three new USTA Training Centers,” said Bill Scherr, chairman of World Sport Chicago and director of sport for Chicago 2016. “Chicago 2016 and World Sport Chicago are dedicated to providing youth with athletic opportunities, and this honor highlights the city’s love of sport as well as the quality of our programs and facilities.”

The news was announced in a press conference in Chicago’s Grant Park. Located in the heart of the city, Grant Park will be the setting for the archery competitions, the start of the marathon and one of the main Olympic celebration sites.

The Midtown Tennis Club is located in Chicago’s Lincoln Park and has hosted tennis legends such as Billie Jean King, Arthur Ashe, Andre Agassi and the Williams sisters. Lincoln Park, along the city’s lakefront, is the proposed site of the Lincoln Park Tennis Center for the 2016 Olympic Games, featuring three competition arenas—including a center court that seats 10,000 spectators.

The Score Tennis and Fitness Center has been a top training center for a number of nationally ranked junior players, and the CARE Academy program is designed for elite junior tennis players.

“Chicago is one of the biggest cities in the country and having a network of facilities located there is a key component of our strategy to reach and help develop as many young tennis players as possible,” said Patrick McEnroe, the general manager of USTA Player Development. “It would be awesome to have the Olympics in Chicago. It’s an amazing city in the heart of our country.”

Added three-time gold medal winner Venus Williams: “I would love to see the summer Olympics return to the United States and Chicago would be an excellent choice to host the Games. I am glad to see that the USTA Player Development program is expanding its effort to identify the next group of American tennis champions and potential Olympians for 2016 through its Regional Training Centers.”

USTA Regional Training Centers will expand the USTA Player Development program’s reach throughout the country by partnering with academies, clubs and tennis centers that have a proven record of identifying and developing tennis players. The new USTA Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American champions by surrounding the top junior players and young pros with the resources, facilities and coaching they need to reach their maximum potential.

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About Chicago 2016
Chicago 2016 is a 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to seek the privilege of hosting the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Chicago. The committee’s board consists of business, civic, athletic, cultural and academic leaders representing Chicago and the surrounding Midwest region. Patrick Ryan serves as the organization’s chairman and CEO.

About World Sport Chicago
World Sport Chicago (WSC) is an Illinois not-for-profit working to enhance the image, awareness and participation in Olympic sports across Chicago and to extend Chicago’s international outreach through and for sport and youth. Focused on promoting the development of recreational and competitive sport to the area’s youth, WSC works closely with Chicago 2016 and Chicago’s 2016’s Athlete Advisory Council (AAC) to provide sport expertise and athlete insight to the execution of these sporting events. WSC intends to aid Chicago in developing a sustainable, international sporting legacy as a real agent of social change for the city. William Scherr, an Olympic medalist in wrestling, is chairman of the board and Scott Myers serves as the executive director.

Contact:
Chicago 2016 Media Line
+1.312.861.4826
media@chicago2016.org


About the USTA
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with 730,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and through tennis, helps underserved youth and people with disabilities to improve academics, build character and strive for excellence. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.

Contact:
Tim Curry, Director, Communications, USTA
(914) 696-7077 or curry@usta.com