About the Fairbanks Tennis Association
Through tennis, The Fairbanks Tennis Association promotes the health, education and well being of all youth and adult residents of the Fairbanks North Star Borough and the Interior of Alaska.
- to promote and support tennis programs in the Fairbanks area.
- to promote year-round tennis facilities and improve tennis facilities in the community for the public benefit.
- to foster national and international competition and develop amateur athletes or such competition in cooperation with the Unites States Tennis Association and other associations.
FTA started in the living room of Dan and Gwen Ramras in June of 1995. A group of interested Fairbanksans met to see what they could do to further tennis in their community. The Fairbanks Tennis Association, FTA, was born.
The first event was the Kids for Tennis clinic. This annual free clinic is open to all kids age 6–18. Special focus is given to at-risk children. Each age group is offered instruction for one hour a day by trained volunteer instructors. Racquets are provided to those children who do not have their own.
The first clinic, 2-weeks long was held in August 1995 and had 184 kids with 30 volunteers. We have grown and now have a full schedule of low-cost summer programming for youth and adults.
The first year, all expenses were paid “out of pocket” by the founding members of FTA. Due to the huge success of the first year, the subsequent years had donations from a variety of sources including Fairbanks Youth Sports, the USTA, and Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.
In 2002 the 6 outdoor courts behind the Mary Siah Recreation Center were resurfaced. A dedication ceremony to name the courts the Dan Ramras Community Tennis Courts kicked off the summer season. Since the resurfacing we have seen an increase in the usage of the facility and participation in the summer tennis programs.
2002 also saw the start of a fall tennis season for middle school and high school students. In Fall 2004 tennis became an ASAA sanctioned sport in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District high schools.