“Tennis is mostly mental. Of course, you must have a lot of physical skill, but you can’t play tennis well and not be a good thinker. You win or lose the match before you even go out there.” — Venus Williams
“Tennis is a perfect combination of violent action taking place in an atmosphere of total tranquillity.” — Billie Jean King
“Life is like a tennis game. You can’t win without serving.” — Arthur Ashe
I’m proud to announce that Tennis Industry Magazine has named Irvine’s Community Services Department as Park & Rec Agency of the Year for 2017.
In making the award, Tennis Industry Magazine explained:
“For the last 14 years, Steve Riggs has been the tennis director for the city of Irvine, Calif., overseeing one of the top city-run tennis programs in the country. Riggs is in charge of 91 public tennis courts (all with lights) at 19 facilities, including the brand-new, 25-court Orange County Great Park Sports Complex. On weekends, he also oversees 31 courts at four high schools.
‘At first, I wasn’t happy about having all these neighborhood parks,’ Riggs says. ‘But for customer service, it’s actually better. It’s easy for kids, for instance, to get to nearby courts.’
The courts are free to play on, but Riggs says programming brings in about $1.8 million from lessons, clinics, leagues and tournaments. ‘As a city-run program,’ he says, ‘we’re lucky to be in a strong tennis community.’
That’s why the city of Irvine’s Community Services Department is Tennis Industry’s 2017 Park & Rec Agency of the Year.
Riggs is quick to credit the 24 full-time teaching pros for the success. ‘Our program is built on our pros,’ he says. ‘If they don’t do a good job, then you don’t have a good program. I have a great staff—many have been here for many years — and they make it all go’.”
“When it comes to giving back to the Southern California junior tennis community, few can match Steve Riggs’ dedication and drive to make life better tennis players. Riggs, the Director of Programming and Tennis for the City of Irvine, has a passion to share his love of the sport with all. This year, the highlights include organizing two coaching education seminars (January and June) and a new four-tournament Grand Slam Round Robin series for novice level juniors.
Riggs is a certified teaching pro, tournament organizer, and community advocate. He has been a leader in the Southern California tennis world for the past 25 years, and based in Orange County since 2004. During that time he has run So Cal junior tournaments at every level from novice to national. Other past accomplishments include being a JTT Area League Coordinator, and a member of the SCTA Advocacy and Red-Orange-Green (ROG) Committees.
When the USTA introduced the 10-and-Under Tennis program, Riggs was one of the first to step up and offer Red-Orange-Green (ROG) Events for kids. He currently offers an innovative 4- tournament ROG Grand Slam Round Robin Circuit in 2016, which highlights the Australian, French, British and U.S. Opens respectively at each event.
Tennis education is also very important to Riggs. For the past eight years, he has offered a variety of seminars on various topics for adults and juniors. ‘I’m happy to be in a position to give players, parents and coaches at all levels a taste of fun and competitive tennis as well as great information,’ Riggs said. ‘All it takes is a few good ideas and the time to plan them. I have an outstanding staff and together we make things happen’.”
The City of Irvine has 91 public tennis courts and offers beginning, advanced beginning, intermediate or advanced level tennis lessons, leagues and tournaments for youth, adults and seniors.
The newly opened Sports Complex at the Great Park has a new Tennis Center that includes a championship tennis court with seating for 132 spectators and an additional 24 lighted tennis courts.
It also includes a conference room, concession area, restrooms, and City athletics offices.
These new Great Park tennis courts offer space for kids camps and lessons, adult team workouts, recreational programs, and the Brymer Lewis Tennis Academy, as well as leagues, match play and championship tournaments.
Drop-in courts are also available daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information about tennis at the Great Park, call the Tennis Center at 949-724-6400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am proud to serve on the City Council that is finally fulfilling the promise of a truly Great Park for the residents of Irvine and Orange County!