Wellington’s New Director of Tennis Chuck Gill
Interview by Krista Martinelli
AW: What are your plans for the Wellington Tennis Center? How would it look when it’s operating to its fullest capacity?
The Wellington Tennis Center should have something for everyone. I’d like to see a robust calendar of events, with a list of programs for kids of all levels. We will offer beginner programs, intermediate and a higher level for those who aspire to play high school or college tennis. We also will offer programs for people in our adaptive community. We currently offer “Love Serving Autism,” a great program for kids on the autism spectrum to come out and experience tennis. Tennis is a game for everyone. We really want everyone to feel included.
We also will offer programs for adults of all levels. This includes: ladies’ teams, men’s teams and programs for seniors. We want to offer a variety of programs for people with different time commitments. So, they can participate in a tennis ladder and arrange a once-a-week match on their own schedule, for example. Again, I want to make everyone feel welcome.
AW: Tell us about your tennis background, including your coaching background.
CG: I began teaching tennis in the summers. I played on a scholarship for a Division 2 school in college. I really enjoyed teaching tennis as I found out. After graduating college, I found myself choosing between getting an MBA or teaching tennis. Teaching tennis seemed to be the better opportunity, so I went to work for a management company and managed tennis resorts. I moved on from resorts to tennis clubs. Before this opportunity, I spent 25 years at the Club at Ibis in West Palm Beach, as their Director of Sports – which included tennis, fitness, aquatics and spa. Meanwhile, we moved to Wellington 25 years ago. I love Wellington and everything it has to offer. Great recreation and activities for kids. I’m very excited about this being the place to finish off my career.
I grew up playing at a public park and on my high school courts. It’s only fitting that I end up at a public park. And I’m having a blast, focusing on tennis. I’ve also served as President of the USPTA (US Professional Tennis Association). I’ve also served on the Board of Directors for the Florida USTA and the USTA (US Tennis Association).
AW: What are the benefits to a person who plays tennis?
CG: Tennis is one of the greatest sports you can play. It’s physical; there’s a lot of movement. Mentally, it requires that you’re engaged, focused, and it has an element of strategy. There’s also a strong element of socialization. On a team, you can play doubles. There’s a high social element to the sport. For kids, it’s one of the best sports you can play. It teaches you discipline, with a great emphasis on sportsmanship. Kids learn to call their own lines and compete fairly. And there’s the important sportsmanlike handshake after the match, win or lose. It’s no coincidence that tennis players often leave the court and become very successful in business. Tennis offers discipline, fairness, goal-setting.
AW: How do you know Katrina Adams, author, tennis pro and former CEO of the US Tennis Association?
CG: I met Katrina through tennis and got to know her when she was USTA President, and I was USPTA President. We met at several industry functions. She became a very good friend when I joined the board of the USTA. Katrina is certainly someone that I admire. She’s one of the brighter, more successful and more giving people in tennis. (See related story about Katrina Adams and her book signing at the Wellington Tennis Center).
AW: What do you love about the Village of Wellington?
CG: I love a lot of things about it. 1) I like that fact that it’s located in South Florida, but it has a small- town feel. There’s a friendliness about Wellington. You feel very welcome here. 2) There are unbelievable facilities for activities and things offered at the parks. You would be hard pressed to find a public tennis center as nice as this one, with 21 beautiful clay courts. It’s just extraordinary. Tennis is the common denominator here, bringing everyone together.
AW: Tell us about the various tennis programs you offer currently.
CG: We have a robust junior program – for kids of all levels. We offer a great way for kids to learn to play. We offer one of Palm Beach County’s most active league programs, with all different levels. We just started doing more programs for men. We offer men’s tennis ladders in singles and doubles (on their own time). We offer a men’s senior league (for over 50). There are opportunities for everyone to play.
AW: Tell us about your family.
CG: My wife Amanda and I have been married for 25 years. She’s an executive in the technology business, working from home. I have three boys (Forrest, Jacob and Joshua), two of them were raised here in Wellington. They are now all finished with or attending college.
AW: What are strengths and weaknesses as a tennis player?
CG: My strengths are my serve, my backhand and my volley.
My weakness is my age. I like to say, “The older I get, the better I was.”
For more information about the Wellington Tennis Center visit their website.
Or call (561) 791-4775.
(Did you know that the Wellington Tennis Center was designed by Venus Williams? See our video of the Grand Opening with Venus Williams).