Har-Tru announces ongoing commitment to Jr tennis

July 15, 2013

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Har-Tru Sports, the world’s leading clay court company and top distributor of tennis court equipment and accessories, teamed up with former tennis professional and acclaimed coach Brad Gilbert to announce the company’s ongoing commitment to developing junior tennis champions in Northern California. The leading clay court manufacturer plans to make clay court training more accessible to junior players through its investment of $500,000 toward a clay court training facility in the Bay area. Har-Tru will continue to work closely with USTA NorCal Player Development to identify opportunities for California youth to train on clay courts. Video footage of the announcement by Pat Hanssen, general manager of Har-Tru, and Gilbert can be seen here.

Har-Tru’s declaration of plans for a Northern California clay court training facility also formally kicked off the inaugural Olympic Club Har-Tru Clay Court Shootout, the first event of its kind for junior players to practice playing on clay courts before the USTA National Clay Court Championships. In collaboration with the Olympic Club and USTA NorCal Player Development, the shootout invited junior players from Northern California to go head to head in a male division and female division. The winner of each division received a $500 travel voucher to cover travel expenses as they head to the east coast for the clay court national tournament. The winners of the Shootout include Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, Lidia L. Dukic of Santa Clara, Andy Huang of Fremont, Grace Lin of South San Francisco, Kailas Shekar of Cupertino, Pamela Duke of San Jose, Joshua Leopold of Santa Clara and Katie Volynets of Walnut Creek.

“Working closely with USTA NorCal Player Development, we saw an opportunity to make clay court training a reality for more junior players. This Shootout is one of many clay court events we plan to host that will ultimately help juniors to become more well-rounded players,” said Pat Hanssen, general manager at Har-Tru. “From providing access to clay court play through ongoing tournaments to opening a training facility for them in the Bay area, our hope is that we will help produce Grand Slam champions.”

The majority of the world’s leading tennis champions train or craft their games on clay. As a player who trained on clay courts, Gilbert was one of tennis’s top strategists and a fierce competitor whose mental approach and style of play outwitted some of the greatest players in the world during a 13-year professional career. He shares Har-Tru’s passion for player development and clay court training.

“I’m excited to be a partner to Har-Tru as the company announces its ongoing commitment to developing champions here in Northern California. Together we will continue to inspire junior players to train on clay in order to develop better habits and techniques, and become more well-rounded players,” Gilbert said. “Playing on clay requires practice, patience and strategy, yet access to clay courts can be difficult. The more access to clay we can provide to American junior players, the more likely we are to develop the caliber of player needed to compete with and win against the world’s top players.”

In association with their California Commitment, Har-Tru will host additional clay court tournaments, shootouts and other training events for junior athletes including a clay court training program on August 5, 2013 at Seascape Sports Club with former tennis professional athlete Justin Gimelstob. In addition, Har-Tru helps connect parents and juniors with private residential clay courts to train on by matching them with owners of courts.