Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center earns second national accolade in months

A local recreational complex didn’t just receive recognition as the best in the state – it earned praise as the top facility of its kind in the country.

The United States Tennis Association announced Aug. 22 that the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center has been named the 2013 Featured Facility Award winner. The award is the highest given annually by the USTA.

The USTA panel judges facilities on overall layout, upkeep of court surfaces, amenities, player accommodation and participation in USTA programs.

You might have caught action at the Center, which is part of the Lexington County Recreation and Aging Commission (LCRAC), as it hosted the 2012 and 2013 USTA Jr. Team Tennis National Championship matches. Others likely have played on one of the 23 full-size courts or seven 36-foot courts.

The Featured Facility Award is given to those centers that have great design and court amenities along with exceptional promotion of 10 and Under Tennis. At the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center, seven of 30 lighted hard courts are designated as Quick Start courts for children younger than 8. Kids as young as 5 are welcomed.

Aside from being called out for overall excellence, the Center was named to the USTA’s 32nd annual Outstanding Facility Awards Program, one of just 19 on the most recent list. This award applauds facilities that underwent successful construction or renovations.

The Center itself will celebrate just its second anniversary this fall. The LCRAC welcomed the public to the opening ceremonies at the brand-new facility in October of 2011 and revealed the 11,000 square foot clubhouse, advanced fitness center, pro shop, catering kitchen and, of course, the tennis courts.

The Featured Facility Award comes on the heels of the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center winning the 2013 Public Facility of the Year. Coming from the Professional Tennis Registry, the announcement was made in May.

The outstanding nature of the center has given Cayce the chance to play host to several more high-profile tournaments. LCRAC Director of Sports Marketing Paulette Criscione couldn’t estimate how many locals come through the Center each day but said the tournaments will again bring in hundreds of visitors to the city.

“We are hosting the USTA National Jr. Team Tennis Championships on October 18-20 for 14 and under and Oct. 25 to 27 for 18 and younger. Last year there were approximately 500 players, coaches, families and friends,” she said.

The South Carolina High School Girls Team Championships (Nov. 9) and South Carolina Girls Single Championships (Nov. 15 and 16) also will have balls flying at the Center.

“We were recently awarded another marquee tournament for 2014 but because the press release has not been issued, we are not at liberty to announce it,” Criscione added. “The LCRAC bids for all the marquee tournaments. Because we have two state-of-the-art facilities (Cayce and the Lexington County Tennis Complex) we are more capable of hosting the larger tournaments that economically impact the area.”

The Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center will soon hang its 2013 Featured Facility plaque and mount an all-weather sign declaring its status. Visit the Center’s homepage for more information on its programs and schedule or call 227-3030.

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