Court 16 is a concept so simple it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been done yet — anywhere in the country. Located in the industrial yet burgeoning blocks of Gowanus, Court 16 is the first-ever tennis club solely geared for kids ages 3-11.
As hard as it may seem, they're no clubs exclusively designed for kids in the country. That is because most of the tennis clubs in the country incorporate youth programs within the adult club.
Even more, Court 16, located at 526 Baltic Street, is also the first youth tennis club with indoor courts that are sanctioned by United States Tennis Association. “We wanted to make the sport joyfully accessible, from the moment you come into the space,” Court 16 founder Anthony Evrard told Brooklyn Magazine. “It’s also much easier to teach the right fundamentals on a smaller court.”
According the Brooklyn Magazine, most youth tennis courts are makeshift on adult courts. At Court 16, the the rackets are smaller, shorter nets, and the tennis balls are bigger and soft.
The courts are 36 feet end-to-end — which is half the size of adult courts. The club is planning two more courts to open next door to the complex some time in 2015. With most of the great tennis players coming from Europe, Evrard is aiming to change the training methods from an early age. Evrard, a Brussels native, told Brooklyn Magazine the key to get ahead in the United States to is implement age-specific programs and start training a very young age.
“We didn’t invent the format,” Evrard told the Brooklyn Magazine. “In Europe, it’s not even a question anymore that you should start playing on a small format. What differentiates us is the aesthetic of the space.”