PLATFORM TENNIS HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM
TO BE LOCATED
AT CENTERCOURT ATHLETIC CLUB,
Scarsdale, NY June 30, 2008
The Platform Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Foundation (Foundation) announced today that they have reached agreement with the Centercourt Athletic Club (CAC) of Chatham, New Jersey to establish a museum and space for recognition of the sport’s Hall of Fame inductees at the CAC clubhouse. Robert A. Brown of Scarsdale, Chairman of the Foundation, indicated that approximately 500 square feet on the second floor of the Centercourt clubhouse in Chatham would be used to honor Hall of Fame inductees and to display memorabilia of the sport, which was invented in Scarsdale, NY in 1928. The plan for a location dedicated to the sport has been ongoing since 1965 when the first individuals who had major achievements in the sport were recognized with an “Honor Award”. In 1998 the “Honor Award” designation was changed to “The Platform Tennis Hall of Fame” and all prior Honor Award recipients were recognized as members of the Hall of Fame.
Robert Brown, Chairman (left), and Richard Lombard, President (right) of The Platform Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame Foundation join
Clay Bibbee, Partner, of Centercourt Athletic Club in signing an Agreement to establish the Hall of Fame Museum at Chatham, NJ
The Foundation was formed in 2002 as a separate entity from the ruling body of the sport, the American Platform Tennis Association (APTA), and applied for and received tax-exempt status in 2004. After a widespread search for a suitable location for the Hall of Fame and Museum, the Foundation found an enthusiastic partner in CAC, a privately owned facility that is in the process of major renovation of its sports facility, which includes 18 tennis courts, a new swimming pool, and four new platform tennis courts (with plans for six). With space available for the museum on the second floor of their renovated clubhouse, it became a mutual fit, with the Foundation needing a home for the museum and CAC looking for a major attraction for its fee-paying membership.
Foundation President Richard Lombard said that the location of the Hall of Fame at CAC was an ideal setting in view of its central location, attractive building, and sizeable athletic base. He added that the museum will capture the history of the sport, the spirit of today’s play and the passion that people have for the game. Included will be 73 present members of the Hall of Fame, future inductees, and 26 categories of National Championships.
The history and increasing vibrancy of the sport will be captured in a series of videos featuring the early days of the game (invented in 1928), with commentary from Molly Ware and Do Deland, daughters of the founders, Fessenden Blanchard and James Cogswell, Jr., historical matches over the past 50 years, current day play, commentary from present day junior players, and a spirited look back from a group of players currently over 80 years of age.
Additional videos will be developed on an ongoing basis to keep the museum current. It will be an exciting place to visit, with a six-court facility, multiple viewing decks, and a large reception area. The museum will also feature interesting historical displays of equipment and prized photographs. To ensure an ongoing vitality, the museum will continually update all aspects of the displays and feature the latest happenings in the wonderful sport of platform tennis.
CAC partner and Managing Director, Clay Bibbee, said “We are delighted to have the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame at CAC, and we’re looking forward to a mutually beneficial, long term relationship with the Foundation”.
The foundation has commenced a fund raising campaign and begun gathering memorabilia donated by the sport’s participants and Hall of Fame inductees. The Hall of Fame and Museum will open in the fall of 2009.