Orlando, Fla. – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced Thursday,  through its USTA Facility Assistance Program, that it has awarded a $10,000 grant to Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee. The grant will be used for resurfacing eight existing 78-foot tennis courts, complete with installation of blended 36-foot and 60-foot tennis playing lines. The USTA Facility Assistance Program aims to support and provide communities access to safe, appealing and functional tennis environments.

"We are committed to enhancing and building more tennis facilities in communities across the country," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "This program allows us to assist in the development process of providing usable tennis venues to people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to play and enjoy the health benefits of our great game."

Since 2005, the USTA has awarded these grants to support tennis facility enhancements, renovations and new construction projects to provide more and enhanced tennis venues for increased playing opportunities. In total, the USTA Facilities Assistance Program has built more than 39,000 tennis courts across the country, for all ages and abilities to enjoy the sport of a lifetime.

In addition, grant recipients receive technical assistance. The USTA Facility Assistance Program provides industry leading experience in tennis court and facility construction from concept plans to professional construction document review.

By investing in the rehabilitation and development of tennis facilities in the United States, the USTA believes these facilities not only will grow the sport, but provide venues for communities to gather and provide lifelong healthy activity through tennis. 

Since 2005 the USTA has allocated more than $12 million through the Facility Assistance Program to help support tennis facility enhancements, renovations and new construction projects.

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 715,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA's philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. For more information about the USTA, go to USTA.com or follow the official accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

​Bethel Coach Ernesto Escamilla commented on the grant and impact it will have on his program. "This was not easy to acquire as I, along with the help of Associate Athletic Director Brad Chappell worked really hard writing up the grant applications and making sure that we met all standards and legal requirements to be eligible for this grant.  I'm really excited as we will be resurfacing our eight varsity courts, in which four  of the courts will be getting 36-foot and 60-foot blended playing lines that will help us modify the game of tennis for children (10 and Under Tennis).  The project begins later this month."

Chappell added, "Coach Ernesto continues to work hard in getting our programs to a level of excellence in our conference and in the nation. We put a lot of work in this project and it is exciting news for our tennis teams and university."

Bethel Director of Athletics Dale Kelley said, "I am proud of Brad and Coach Escamilla and their efforts in this achievement. It is much needed and we are grateful to the USTA for their help and commitment to the sport of tennis and our university. This will help in recruiting and enhance the experience of our student-athletes."