Midcoast Recreation Center has been recognized by the United States Tennis Association as the 2017 New England Organization of the Year and the 2017 Indoor Tennis Facility of the Year by the Maine Tennis Association.

These awards acknowledges MRC’s outstanding facility, programs and staff as leaders in the tennis community, said Seth Meyer, MRC's head professional and tennis director.

Meyer said one factor in receiving the award is the recent improvements to the tennis facility, which included new lighting, wall repairs and resurfacing of courts. The tennis courts were resurfaced and repainted with a color scheme of purple and green. These are the first purple indoor tennis courts in Maine. The purple courts have a high contrast with the yellow tennis balls making it easier to see the ball and more fun to play, he said.

Additionally, MRC has expanded its tennis programs to include: tennis ladders, triples, junior team tennis and youth instruction. MRC has one of the largest youth tennis development programs in New England.

Meyer said MRC's youth Red Ball Tennis is a free program for children ages 6-8. This program incorporates a slower red tennis ball, a youth-sized racquet and a smaller court, which facilitates longer rallies, easier play and makes it more fun, he said. Also, each new participant in Red Ball receives a youth tennis racquet of their own. Last year, MRC had 460 registrations in the Red Ball program.

Craig Wilson, MRC's executive director, said, “This award is a fantastic achievement and recognition for all the hard work the staff and volunteers have put in over the course of the year. Despite a national trend of reduction in the level of interest in tennis, our facility continues to thrive and add new players and new programs. To be recognized as the best facility in New England says a lot. To beat the hundreds of tennis clubs in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire is quite an accomplishment."

These awards also recognize the quality staff at MRC, Wilson said.

Meyer, who has been MRC’s head pro and tennis director for more than 13 years, leads the tennis instructors. Meyer always is on the court and one can find him mornings, nights and weekends teaching tennis.

Lesley Arbour. a frequent tennis player at MRC, noted, “All the tennis staff are very personable, knowledgeable and always positive. They are in touch with each player’s strengths and weakness and teach accordingly to bring out the best in each player. Classes are challenging and fun which make one want to keep coming back.”

When asked about the award, Meyer said, “We are honored to be recognized by both the USTA and MTA. We will continue to do everything we can to serve our great tennis patrons and the community that surrounds us.”

Midcoast Recreation Center tennis was established in 2001 with four courts. MRC offers tennis programs and instruction for all ages. Participants range from ages 3 to 85. MRC caters for various standards, from those interested in serious match play to those happy with just social tennis. MRC aims to promote an environment in which everyone enjoys their tennis at a fantastic location, Meyer said. MRC offers a range of programs that include individual lessons, contract time, instructional classes, youth and adult leagues and summer camps.

Program offerings can be found on the facility's website at midcoastrec.org or call 236-9400.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.