Can participating in a sport help young people acquire life skills like teamwork, resilience, integrity, sportsmanship and discipline?
We believe it can--even when the sport is one most people have never heard of.
The sport of platform tennis (a.k.a. paddle tennis) is not very well known in Cleveland. With good reason. All of the city's 30+ courts are located in racquet clubs and country clubs in the city's eastern suburbs.
But that's about to change.
By the end of this year, there will be four new platform tennis courts located in an area of downtown Cleveland known as The Flats. The Flats Platform Tennis Center (FPTC) will be home to Cleveland's first paddle courts created specifically for public use. Get more information here.
FPTC programming will include an after-school Youth Mentoring Program. This initiative will bring middle and high school students from all across the city to the facility, where they will be assigned a mentor (an adult volunteer), who will alternatively help them learn the game, and help with academics.
The facility will also make the game more accessible to more people by offering discounted memberships for people under 35. There will even be ample opportunity for newcomers to play for free.
By bringing down geographic and economic barriers, the FPTC will help democratize paddle tennis, making the game and the city of Cleveland richer as a result. But a project like this does not come cheap.
Through the generosity of private individuals and a handful of Cleveland-based businesses and foundations, the Cleveland Platform Tennis Foundation (the non-profit organization that is building the Flats facility) has raised enough money that our ultimate fund-raising goal of $650,000 is within sight. We just need...one...final...push!
Please help us get to the finish line by making a donation to the Cleveland Platform Tennis Foundation. All money raised here will do directly into the construction of the Flats Platform Tennis Facility. You will have our profound gratitude, and be forever recognized as a Founding Donor on our website, cleptf.org.
We believe by helping young people succeed through learning a game we love, we are, in our own small way, helping make our city a more vibrant, inclusive and healthy place to live.
Thanks, in advance, for your help in making that happen.