Save the FTA tennis community in Metro West!

Tennis professional Gus Fernandes started a small tennis business in the Metro West community of Orlando in March 2022, renting the courts from MG tennis management company. Gus has poured time and resources into repairing and improving the neglected and unplayable courts and supporting areas. The sprinkler system has been repaired, the bathroom near the tennis courts was renovated, seating area canopies were replaced, and picnic tables were added. Gus ran a wide variety of tennis programs for all ages on these courts. His charismatic personality and high expectations have driven the improvement of many new and established tennis players from across Orlando and developed a vibrant tennis community based around these courts. Also, in support of the continued renewal of the Metro West Community, the associated players, and their families supported local restaurants and other businesses.

Tennis plays a critical role in our community. In a study that looked at long-term outcomes from tennis play, it was found that there was decreased coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (Spring et al, 2020). Participation can also improve mental health related to serotonin levels and an environment that is supportive (Spring et al, 2020). Clearly, tennis has strong health benefits. Also notable is the proximity of the tennis courts to the community. An increase in distance from home/work was associated with decreased frequency of exercise (Rasa et al, 2022).

Unfortunately, the MG tennis management company that holds rights to the courts has doubled the rental fee specifically for Gus and his Fernandes Tennis Academy business. Gus is being forced to leave the courts, business, and tennis community he has built up. Along with this comes another set of bad news for these tennis courts; there is more repair and equipment replacement needed such as light poles and fencing, based on recent city inspections. The golf course has not agreed to pay for these necessary repairs. There is a great risk based on these developments that the tennis courts in Metro West will return to their previous unplayable condition.

This petition demands that the golf course makes the critical repairs to bring this facility into legal compliance and most importantly that the MG Tennis company charge a reasonable fee to allow the Fernandes tennis academy to continue the reliable operation and maintenance of this tennis facility.

Please consider signing this petition to ensure continued operation and quality instruction at our local tennis courts.

Rasa, A., Pulakka, A., Magnussen-Hanson, L., Westerlund, H., & Halonen, J. (2022).

Distance to sports facilities and low frequency of exercise and obesity: a cross-sectional study.BMC Public Health 22, 2036

Spring, K., Holmes, M., & Smith, J. (2020). Long-term Tennis Participation and Health Outcomes: An Investigation of "Lifetime" Activities

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