The Dataw Island Club Tennis Center on St. Helena Island is one of just 12 winners in the 36th annual USTA Facility Awards program, which recognizes excellence in the construction and/or renovation of tennis facilities throughout the country.
The Dataw Island Club Tennis Center will be honored in October at the Next Generation: A Tennis Innovation Workshop at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Orlando.
The Dataw Island Club Tennis Center is home to an active social and USTA-playing community, with more than 20 USTA league teams each year.
The club’s annual USTA Dataw SPLASH! Tournament, held in June, draws competitors from South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. The event, featuring local Special Olympics athletes, benefits SOAR Special Recreation and the local Special Olympics organization.
“Great tennis facilities like the Dataw Island Club Tennis Center help us to grow the game at the grass-roots level, and we are proud to recognize them for their ongoing impact on the sport of tennis,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA chief executive of the community Tennis and the USTA National Campus. “Dataw Island Club Tennis Center has embraced many of our tennis initiatives and kept the sport at the forefront of its community each year.”
The Dataw Island Tennis Center is led by Warren Florence, who is also the club’s head teaching pro.
Florence credits his team — and teamwork — with the success of the Dataw Island Tennis Program.
“It’s all about the team and anticipating needs,” he said. “I view Dennis (Johnson) and Sara (Bruns) with great importance as the faces of our program and facility. If we’re in sync and having fun, it translates to our members and guests.”
Throughout the school year, Florence, his staff and volunteers also work with local special athletes and their schoolmates through an on-site educational program.