Are you an avid tennis player and want to get your little one involved? Or do you have a child interested in tennis and you’re looking for a place to nurture their love of the sport? OR…not a tennis player, and wanting to introduce it to your family? Right around the corner in Gowanus you will find Court 16, the first (and only) kids tennis club in Brooklyn. This state of the art facility was created with kids in mind, from kid size courts with cushioned surfaces to bathroom sinks at kid-height. Tennis has so much to offer our children, like aerobic fitness, fine motor control, better eye-hand coordination, discipline and learning sportsmanship, among many other benefits. Finally we have a place dedicated to this great sport right here in Brooklyn! For this month’s interview we decided to talk to the founder of Court 16, Anthony Evrard.
SSP: I understand Court 16 is the first and only kids’ tennis club in Brooklyn. What does that mean – smaller tennis courts? What do you specifically offer for the kids?
We offer perfectly kid-sized courts, which means permanent USTA-sanctioned 30’, 36’, and 60′ tennis courts – the optimal size for child athletes. This – along with the right instruction, racquet size and weight, and low-compression tennis balls – allows kids to grow at their own pace while building confidence and the right techique before moving onto the next format. From the courts to the locker rooms to the teaching methodology, our facility adapts to the kids, rather than the kids having to adapt to it. Based on their goals, kids can learn in private, semi-private, group, or camp sessions. Group sessions maintain a strict ratio of no more than 5 kids per 1 instructor, to ensure kids receive the attention they need, and are structured based on the child’s age and skill level.
SSP: What is the mission of Court 16, in addition to teaching children how to play tennis?
Our mission is to offer a unique and holistic tennis experience to kids of all physical abilities, and from all social and geographic backgrounds, in a safe environment curated specifically for them. Our holistic teaching methodology incorporates technique, strategy, and sportsmanship, connecting mind and body to develop confidence while building a solid technical foundation and love for the sport.
SSP: Can you tell us a little about how and when Court 16 began and where the name comes from?
Court 16 gets its name from court number 16 at founder Anthony Evrard’s tennis club in his hometown of Brussels, Belgium. Playing on the court since the age of 3, tennis inspired him to develop a “blueprint for life”, cultivating qualities of discipline, focus and fair play that have benefited all aspects of his life. Pulling from his decades of life in the world of tennis, Anthony’s desire was to create a modernized approach to the game, curated and remixed specifically for kids. Court 16’s flagship location in Gowanus held its soft opening in October 2014 before opening its entire 15,000 sq ft space to the public in August 2015.
SSP: The photos I’ve seen of your facility are super impressive! Can you tell us a bit more about it and your courts?
Court 16 has five permanent USTA-sanctioned 36’ tennis courts, a 30′ court for Little Freshmen (ages 2.5-3 years), and a 60′ court for advanced Juniors (ages 7-8 years), Seniors (ages 9-11 years) and adults. All courts are built using PREMIER COURT surfacing, the most advanced impact-absorbing cushioning surface out there – which is especially gentle on growing joints. Our bright and architecturally progressive interior is designed to excite young minds (and imaginations!), and a ton of other activations create a well-rounded experience – from ping pong tables sized perfectly for kids of all ages, to plasma screens showing iconic tennis matches.
SSP: I think our families would be very interested in learning about the unique offerings like the monthly kids’ movie night and weekly adult tennis night. How do these events work?
We believe in playing and growing as a family, which is why our memberships offer special savings for siblings, and complimentary membership for the parents. From themed kids events, to Friday Movie Nights for the kids and their families, to FOAM Tennis after-hours social events for the parents and friends, Court 16 is a community built for families. Plus, our new Adult Tennis Fitness and Adult Beginners Classes help our adult members raise their game to the next level!
SSP: As you know we are a pediatrician’s office, with many young patients. At what age do children become involved in the sport and how does it work for the very little ones?
Court 16’s classes are structured by age and skill set, and range from Little Freshmen (2.5 – 3 years) to Seniors (9 – 11 years). We excitedly introduce our youngest group of Little Freshmen to their first tennis racquet, engaging them to make contact with the ball for the first time. We’ll practice balance and movements through interactive drills, before moving onto exercises that build psychomotor and visual-motor skills. And of course, parents and caregivers are welcome to join their little ones on the court.
SSP: Do you also host birthday parties, even corporate events? What’s this I hear about foam tennis?
Birthday parties at Court 16 are designed to celebrate and engage kids, regardless of their level of tennis experience. Parties run for 90 minutes and include 45 minutes on the court – for tennis games and activities – and 45 minutes in the party space – for cake and candles!
We host corporate events, team building activities, and leagues, incorporating Court 16’s FOAM Tennis for an engaging experience both on and off the court. Inspired by racquet sports played on small courts throughout the world, FOAM Tennis provides a high-paced, stress-free version of tennis that maximizes the number of rallies, while minimizing the impact on joints. It’s an awesome way for colleagues or clients to spend time together out of the office.
SSP: How does one learn more about Court 16? Do you recommend a visit?
The best way to experience Court 16’s community is to come check it out! To schedule a complimentary intro session and hang out with the team, visit our website, email us firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at (718) 875-5550.