In April 1980, Jack Kennedy, Woody Crockett and Marvin Bingham, who lived in Fairfax County, but who had been playing tennis with a group of seniors in Arlington County for a couple of years, decided that a similar program was needed in their county.  After discussions with Eileen Cooper, Supervisor of the Senior Services Division of the Fairfax County Department of Recreation and Community Services, they agreed to assist in organizing such a group.  In early May, publicity was given to a proposed meeting on June 9 in the George Mason Public Library which resulted in 32 charter members enthusiastically signing up. Meanwhile, the Fairfax County Park Authority was asked to provide five reserved courts at the Jefferson District Park on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and to waive reservation fees with the proviso that no play could occur on holidays, week ends, and evenings leaving courts available for those who work every day.

 

By the time play actually started on June 24, word of the program had spread, and ten

more players showed up.  Each player was asked to rate himself or herself (one-fourth

of the charter members were women) on the National Tennis Rating Program (NTRP)

format which permitted the Team Captain to match players of comparable playing

levels. At the court a player's name card was placed on the assignment board which

was changed every half-hour during the two-hour period to provide interesting and

challenging competition.

 

By the end of August, as the summer session was drawing to a close, the group had increased

to 96 and all eight available courts were being used.  It was apparent that the group would

continue to grow and that one location for outdoor play would not meet the group's needs

for the next season; therefore a request was initiated to the Park Authority for other sites.  For the coming winter season, members were canvassed regarding their wishes to play indoors with the result that several indoor tennis clubs were contacted regarding use of their courts in off-hours at reduced rates.  Contracts were signed with two clubs after fifty members elected for this part of the program which ran from September 15 to May 1 during the hours of 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

 

On November 18th a meeting was held at the George Mason Public Library to elect club officers, regular Team Captains and their alternates, and to appoint an ad hoc committee to draft a club constitution, rules and by-laws in accordance with county requirements.  Members were also asked to think about a name for the group, and when Fairfax County Golden Racquets was suggested, it was unanimously adopted. One of the group, an accomplished artist, Boyd Lewis, painted an attractive logo depicting a little old man and lady brandishing tennis racquets.  Before the 1981 summer season commenced, the membership had increased to 145, confirming the need for additional outdoor courts.  Agreement was reached with the Park Authority to provide reserved courts at three additional parks at Mason district Park, Wakefield Recreation Center, and Nottoway Park on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

 

Continued growth of the club has been experienced due to many who have been willing to contribute their time and energy in accepting responsibility for the numerous tasks to be performed.

 

 

 

© 2015 by Fairfax County Golden Racquets Tennis Club