TOPEKA, Kan. - Since opening in the mid 1980s with just nine courts and a leftover trailer from the 1966 tornado, Kossover Tennis Center has added a clubhouse, tournament-quality lighting and a pavilion, while expanding to 18 courts by 2006. The facility and its supporters are now being recognized for continued achievements and contributions to the sport.
Topeka’s Kossover Tennis Center has been named 2008 Facility of the Year by the United States Tennis Association Kansas District.
The award was accepted by Robert Keeshan, Past President of Topeka Tennis Association, at the KDTA Annual Awards Luncheon on November 2 in Wichita.
Keeshan said, “I am very pleased the association has recognized not only Kossover as the premier tennis facility in Kansas, but also recognized the successful efforts of our tennis partnerships here in Topeka.”
The center is named for Harold Kossover, a Topeka banker and avid tennis supporter who died in the late 1970s while expansion plans were underway.
The center hosted 20 tournaments in 2008, including those for middle schools, leagues, regional high schools, Washburn University, Baker University, Missouri Valley USTA, Sunflower State Games, Kansas Senior Olympics and the North American Indian Tennis Championships.
Since 2002, when Parks & Recreation of Topeka partnered with Wood Valley Racquet Club and Fitness Center and the Topeka Tennis Association to operate the facility, the center has seen both cost savings and tremendous growth in court utilization, league play and the number of programs offered. According to Parks & Recreation of Topeka Director Terry Bertels, “Wood Valley Racquet Club and Fitness Center and Topeka Tennis Association have been outstanding partners. Their programming expertise and fundraising efforts have proven invaluable to the City of Topeka and the sport of tennis.”
Other affiliated awards were also presented: Topeka Tennis Association received the Community Tennis Association of the Year Award; Jayhawk Adult Open Tournament held at Kossover received the Adult/Senior Tournament of the Year Award; Diana Christman, Topeka Tennis Association Board Member, received the Outstanding Contributor to USTA League Tennis Award; Kevin Hedberg of Washburn Rural High School received the Outstanding High School Coach Award; Topeka West Tennis Coach Kurt David and family received the Family of the Year Award; and Shane Hunter received the Male Junior Player of the Year Award.