The first year it was about 30 players, the second year 40 players, and this past March there were over 50 players. That’s the growth the Franklin Racquet Club’s Sets in the City social tennis events have realized the past three years – and not just because it’s fun. Word has spread that these events also help others through donations to the USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation.
“We’ve really picked up steam,” said program coordinator Tim Ross. “For this last session in March we had over 50 people register and I had to turn people away. Because of the program’s popularity, I plan to organize another session later this summer or early Fall.”
Although Ross is a competitive tennis player, captaining three USTA League teams and serving as lead coordinator for the upcoming Motor City Tennis Classic (June 10-12, 2017) in Detroit, he wanted to do something a little more casual with a focus on the social aspect. He decided to organize a USTA/Midwest Sets in the City event, a social tennis event designed for adults of all ages that provides the opportunity to play in a fun, non-competitive environment. Typically refreshments are part of these events, and Ross’ events are no different.
“Yes, our event even serves Cosmopolitans,” said Ross. He models the theme of his event after one of his favorite TV shows, using the play-on-words for “Sets” in the City. Participants represent a wide range of ages, with players in their 20s through their 50s.
“What I like about Sets in the City is that it combines tennis with a fun, all-inclusive atmosphere,” said Ross. “This is one time when we all get together and play with each other and have a good time and yes, we have food and drinks every time…we definitely don’t forget the cosmos!”
But it’s not just the fun and food that keeps people coming. Ross structured the cost of his event so that a portion is given directly to the USTA/Midwest Tennis and Education Foundation. And he says many participants even donate additional money knowing it’s going to a great cause.
“What better organization than the Foundation? It helps kids, disabled veterans and those that need assistance to participate in this sport,” said Ross. “I like to give back, so I thought I could use this activity that I love so much to help.”
Ross’ goal is to eventually plan a Sets in the City event each season, four times each year, and bring in even more donations. “I’m really fortunate in my life with a good job, great friends, good health and I think that if you have the ability to help or give back, than we all should. I love doing it and our participants love the idea too,” he said.
Learn more about Sets in the City events at www.usta.com/en/home/play/programs-for-everyone/midwest/SetsInTheCity.