HOLLAND – The dedication of the new VandePoel-Heeringa Stadium Courts at Hope College on Saturday, Sept. 22, will include a variety of activities to celebrate completion of the Etheridge Tennis Complex and the tennis facility’s role as a resource for campus and community alike.
Events include an open house beginning at 3:30 p.m., a dedication ceremony at 4:30 p.m., and an exhibition featuring former touring tennis professional Todd Martin.
The public is invited to all three of the events. Admission is free.
The 12-court, outdoor Vande Poel-Heeringa Stadium Courts are part of the Etheridge Tennis Complex at the college’s Ekdal J. Buys Athletic Fields, and are located east of Holland Municipal Stadium. The $2.2 million facility, which also includes elevated seating for spectators, is designed for competition, instruction and casual play alike.
In addition to providing a first-rate home for intercollegiate competition, the stadium courts serve as a resource for the entire community. Just hours after opening in June they hosted the local qualifier camp for high-school-level district United States Tennis Association (USTA) competition, and across the summer were home to the college’s nine-week Tennis Academy, which instructs young players spanning kindergarten through 12th grade. Not least of all, they are open to those simply looking for a place to play a game themselves.
The Vande Poel-Heeringa Stadium Courts were made possible through many generous gifts, including from the families of Earle Vande Poel ’35 and George Heeringa ’36, for whom the facility is named. Doubles partners on the Hope College tennis team, both men went on to careers in business, Earle at American Seating Co. in Grand Rapids, where he headed the company’s church furniture division, and George at Hart and Cooley in Holland, from which he retired as president.
The naming of the Etheridge Tennis Complex, which also includes the college’s indoor, six-court DeWitt Tennis Center, recognizes the generous contribution of the Barb ’73 and Ted ’72 Etheridge family and their passion for tennis which inspired and facilitated the design. Their support in turn expresses gratitude for the influence on players and contributions to Hope tennis made by Jorge Capestany and the late Karen Page.
Capestany, who is manager of the DeWitt Tennis Center and founded the Hope Tennis Academy in 2004, is a nationally respected tennis professional, and is one of only 10 people world-wide that is a Master Professional with both the United States Professional Tennis Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. Page had an extensive background as a teacher and coach of tennis, including as coach of the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams at Holland West Ottawa High School, was director of the DeWitt Tennis Center and had coached the Hope women’s tennis team for 12 seasons before her untimely death due to cancer on July 3, 2009.