Patrick Galbraith, who already was arguably Tacomaâ€™s most accomplished competitor in the sport, now has another claim to tennis fame.
On Oct. 13, the United States Tennis Association of the Pacific Northwest (USTA PNW) formally dedicated the Galbraith Tennis Center, a newly refurbished indoor facility at the same site in Tacoma where Galbraith honed his game on the way to international stardom.
The Galbraith center and its six resurfaced courts, which opened to the public in September, fill a void left by the closure of indoor courts in recent years. USTA PNW, a regional section of the national non-profit governing body of tennis, sees the centerâ€™s revitalization as a way to expand tennis by giving everyone â€“ seniors included — more opportunities to play the game.
Activities at the center are literally geared for all ages. For older adults, there are tournaments throughout the year and lessons for 60-and-up players.
â€œThe great thing about tennis is that itâ€™s really not age-based. Itâ€™s skill-based. We have many 80-year- olds of all levels on our courts,â€ said Mary Rarick, a spokeswoman for the center.
Rarick noted the average age of tennis players in the Pacific Northwest is 52, one of the highest such averages in the U.S. and an indication here of â€œa healthy population of senior players who are driving up the average.â€
According to USTA PNW, the Pacific Northwest is experiencing a groundswell of interest in tennis, but there is only one indoor court for every 26,706 people. Officials said facilities like the Galbraith center are needed badly in order to build a sustainable future for tennis in the region with places for everyone to play the game, regardless of age, economic status and ability.
â€œI am so thrilled to be a part of the effort to keep my hometown playing the sport I love so much,â€ Galbraith said.
Galbraith, now 51, was born in and grew up playing tennis in Tacoma. At the height of his professional career, he was ranked number one in the world in doubles and either won or finished second in some of the biggest tournaments, including two runnerup finishes at Wimbledom in menâ€™s doubles in 1993 and 1994.
The Galbraith center is located at 1680 Mildred St. and can be contacted at email@example.com and 253-533-1145.
The USTA PNW, headquartered in Beaverton, Ore., has added facility management to its overall promotion and development of tennis. In addition to opening the Galbraith complex, the organization opened the Vancouver Tennis Center in Vancouver in September. The association also runs a recreational tennis program, tournaments and training, and organizes fund-raising and scholarships.