If you aren't familiar with Minneapolis, you just may think that it is a city with such brutal winters you couldn’t imagine living there. What you may not know is that it is without-a-doubt one of the best sports towns in the country. Minneapolis sports the most active population in the nation and it’s tennis population is thriving. The USTA’s Northern section is the governing body for all things tennis in the area. Its mission is to grow the game in the area at all levels. The section puts on leagues, tournaments and clinics for adults and kids, as well as comprehensive adaptive programs for those with disabilities and special needs.
The Inner City Tennis program is one that stands above the rest in terms of the impact it has made on the city both in tennis and in giving back. Founded in 1952 by Minneapolis patriarch Lachlan Reed, the program was designed “with a goal of empowering inner city youth with the many opportunities afforded them through the lifelong sport of tennis.”
The program took off in the '50s and has grown exponentially since then. It started with volunteer coaches teaching on city courts, and has since opened its own facility at the Reed Sweat Tennis Center with twelve courts, seven full-time coaches, administrative offices, and has inspired spin-off programs all across the nation. Thousands of children have come through the programs.
One of the programs inspired by InnerCity, the Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center, opened its doors in Minneapolis right down the street in St. Paul. The program features one of the city's premier tennis facilities with eight world-class courts, and offers programming for underprivileged youth and anyone looking to hone their game in the community.
The real pulse of the tennis community in Minneapolis can be found at the University of Minnesota’s Baseline Tennis Center. It is the home to both the men’s and women’s Golden Gophers collegiate tennis programs and features 22 signature maroon and gold courts both inside out. The stadium seating features 500 seats, so whether you are playing a competitive match or just hitting for fun, you’ll be inspired by the arena!
If you are looking for a more fun, casual tennis experience, there are two local Meetup pages with nearly 3,000 active members. There are weekly Meetups for players of every level, which are also a great outlet to meet new tennis friends!
Shu L. is PlayYourCourt’s featured pro providing tennis lessons in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Area. He has been teaching for PlayYourCourt for years and has been adored by all of his students. He is certified and very active in the PTR and teaches with all the latest technology. Though he is a high level player very capable of working with any age or ability, his passion is working with kids and beginners. Shu will make sure you have as much fun as you possibly can on the court!