GTA has committed $100,000 to the Guam National Tennis Federation to help with the development and construction of the Guam National Tennis Center.
“(The Guam National Tennis Federation) is overwhelmed by the generosity of the Guam community to make the dream a reality,” said Torgun Smith, federation president. “We thank GTA for stepping up as a court sponsor. Without the court sponsors, this project would never have a chance of actually getting started.”
There will be a total of six sponsored courts and the GTA Court will be for under-12 youths.
GTA is a proactive advocate for all youth development and environmental efforts, according to Laura Cepeda, client relations executive.
“We are proud to partake in a larger community effort to provide the adequate resources needed to develop the skills for the sport and push the limits of competition,” Cepeda said.
The Guam National Tennis Center will sit on five acres leased from the Department of Parks and Recreation. It's considered the federation's permanent home. Al Tsutsui designed the facility, and Kent Hsieh the engineers, who did work on the project for free, said Smith.
Although the law allowing the federation to lease GovGuam property was enacted in May 2011, nothing was done for years, until the federation paid for a survey in 2014. There was a lull until 2017.
With a plan in place, the federation got to work in raising the $1.4 million needed to build the center.
The biggest chunk of committed funds came from businesses who paid for naming rights for the tennis courts. The Ysrael family purchased the rights for the exhibition court, and others soon signed on, including Quality Distributors, Darren Talai's group of restaurants and Calvo's SelectCare.
Anonymous donors also contributed a hefty chunk of change. There also were grants from the International Tennis Federation and the United States Tennis Association, and a $100,000 grant from the Guam Economic Development Authority's Qualifying Certificate program.
The facility will have the latest technology, from cushioned courts to LED lighting to eco-friendly equipment.
The facility also will generate revenue to become self-sustaining, using a break-even operation to keep the facility staffed.
Smith said the center isn't meant to replace existing courts but to supplement them. The center will serve as the practice facility for Guam's national team. Federation members will have access for a modest annual fee. Juniors will be able to play for free, said Smith.