About Cork Parks Tennis
Cork Parks Tennis was founded in 1984 and its main aim was to provide children in disadvantaged areas of the City with the opportunity of playing the game of tennis who would not normally have the opportunity to do so. In the first year, with a staff of 8 people Cork Parks Tennis catered for 400 children in 4 areas of the city and since then we have evolved to cater for any child who wishes to develop and improve at the game.
The City of Cork V.E.C. played a huge role in the formation of Cork Parks Tennis, providing the necessary funding and support to ensure the project was in a position to get off the ground. In addition Cork City Council and Fás have also been great supporters of the scheme since its inception.
Cork Parks Tennis has a General Committee which oversees the ongoing running and development of Parks Tennis. The committee meets at monthly intervals and the following is a list of its members.
- Patrick Coleman (Chairman)
- John O Rourke (Coordinator)
- Steven Scully (Cork City Council)
- Hugh Mc Donough (Technical Advisor)
As Coordinator John O Rourke is responsible for the day to day running of Parks Tennis.
Summer camp programme in twelve venues throughout Cork.
Schools programmes in sixteen schools.
A court rental scheme at Togher.
The coaches, leaders, and caretakers, who implement our many tennis programmes work closely with John who reports directly to the committee.
The Cork Parks Tennis has had a fairytale success story and in 1994 we catered for 4000 children in 14 areas, such as the Glen, Mahon, Togher, Churchfield, Knocknaheeney, etc. Staff numbers have also increased dramatically since 1989 and last year we had a total of 28 employees throughout the Summer. Cork Parks Tennis is now recognised throughout the City as one of the main providers of Recreational Facilities for children throughout these disadvantaged areas.
While this Recreational Facility will always remain our primary concern it is very rewarding to see seven of our members gaining Munster recognition since the inception of the scheme. In addition a number of our players have gained full membership on a scholarship basis with many clubs throughout the City. Presently one of our player’s, Paul Fitzgerald of the Glen was ranked Number 1 at U18 Level in the Country. Paul is now attending University is the US on a full Tennis Scholarship.
Overall Cork Parks Tennis are very pleased with their growth and development to date and look forward to continued progress in the years ahead.
Cork Parks Tennis is a Voluntary Organization and are very dependent on support from various Bodies including Fás, The City of Cork V.E.C. The Cork City Council and Nestle. As the children catered for in our program are for the most part from disadvantaged areas we fully appreciate that the level of fees, which we collect, will never amount to a significant sum. Indeed, in many cases the fees charged are of a Token Nature as we feel “anything one gets for nothing is never really appreciated’.
In summary therefore Cork Parks Tennis is very dependant on outside support as we will never be really in a position to Self Fund to any major degree.