Mars G. Alison
The lack of tennis courts here in Cebu City that is not exclusive to members will soon see a resolution with the opening later this month of the Citigreen Tennis Resort, the first to feature a red-clay court in Cebu.
Located in barangay Punta Princesa in Cebu City, the tennis court had a soft opening last week wherein it offered free viewing and testing, while its grand opening is tentatively scheduled near the end of April.
For now, the tennis resort features two International Tennis Federation (ITF) standard size red-clay courts inside a covered gym which has a roof equipped with fiberglass skylights. Still in the works are a clubhouse, rainwater harvesting system, al fresco-inspired bleachers, the landscaping and the parking area, according to Daisy Jade Abangan, the operations officer.
The courts’ surface is comprised of seven layers with the topmost being the crushed red clay which was imported from another part of Asia.
Directional signs will soon be put up to guide those who want to make use of the courts as the Citigreen is located in an interior portion of Bayabas Extension.
Citigreen is managed by a team with a passion for the sport and believing in changing lives through tennis.
Abangan herself used to play the sport as part of the University of San Jose Recoletos varsity team alongside Dyan Bohol, who is now the resort’s PR officer. Cebu’s top tennis personalities are also part of the team behind this endeavor with Bernardine Nino “Kokong” Siso serving as assistant marketing officer and Jun Tabura as a tennis coordinator.
Siso along with his sisters Sally Dine and Sally Mae, MacMac Enriquez and RJ Abarquez are also the resort’s resident coaches and ambassadors. Aside from handling the technical side of the resort’s planned tennis clinics, the ambassadors are also tasked to share their experiences and the positive side of the sport.
HOW IT STARTED
Abangan said the resort, a two-year in the making project, is a product of hard work, perseverance and divine intervention.
It used to be a dream which got lost as they continue to grow up and grow apart, however, their passion for the sport brought them together again to realize that dream.
Abangan herself was already a successful accountant in Singapore when she decided to come back to Cebu and turn what would have been a lucrative business venture of building apartments into something that would not be as financially satisfying.
“It’s not the profit. It’s the number of lives that we can change,” said Abangan, who added that they were lucky that some people believed in their passion and decided to trust them with their investments.
Siso cited that one of the best things that tennis have done for him and his sisters as well as others is that it has enabled them to finish school via a sports scholarship.
Abangan said it was not easy and she would have long given up if not for the dedication and determination that the team poured into the venture.
ENVIRONMENT-FRIENDLY TENNIS RESORT
Citigreen is the first of its kind that gives priority to the environment, thus its name.
Abangan said the original plan for the court’s surface was synthetic grass but they decided to change it to red clay to give them a marketing edge over other tennis courts as aside from having no other red-clay courts here, it can also be associated to the red clay courts used in the famed Roland Garros or more commonly known as the French Open.
Except for the court, Citigreen stays true to being environment-friendly by using rainwater as its main source of water supply; LED and solar lights to save energy and no air conditioners as except for the roof, the gym is open on all sides.
Once it becomes operational, Citigreen will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m. or midnight. In cases of power outage, the tennis resort is equipped with generators so as not to disrupt playing time.
The resort will charge a hundred per hour for daytime use and P200 per hour for night time use. It also has packages for tournaments.
Citigreen is also open to all, no need for membership.
Citigreen already had its first event last month—the Cebuana Lhuillier-backed USPTA Developmental Workshop.
Another event which has confirmed the tennis resort as its venue is the December-slated Cebuana Lhuillier Age-group tournament.
Bohol said that on April 21, they will also start with their one-month tennis clinic for beginners, intermediate and advance.
Sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Private sessions will be held in the afternoon.
Aside from the clinics, also being mulled are activities that would correspond to the sports’ grand slam events namely the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.
Not to forget the people who have taught them the sport, the management team of Citigreen will also honor coaches who have passed away via memorial cup events.
Citigreen can also host other events aside from tennis such as graduation parties.
Abangan said that they also plan to expand in another area of the city probably in five years.
For more inquiries, those interested can email [email protected] or call Siso at 09157744500, or at 09228744570.