The primary purpose of the STPC is to provide tennis playing opportunities to people 50 and older for their mental, physical, and social well-being as well as to support the growth of tennis.
How do we implement that Club Mission? Through Group Play, Pop-Up Tennis, Team Tennis, STPC Events, Drills, and Donations.
STPC is an all-volunteer organization. All membership fees are used to provide tennis playing opportunities for our members and to support youth tennis programs with our annual contributions to three local non-profits serving kids (InnerCity Tennis, Fred Wells, and St. Paul Urban Tennis). These three organizations use tennis as a vehicle to teach positive values to youth. In addition, some of our members volunteer in those organizations.
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The organization came about in 1982 when Twin Cities businessman Jack Dow brought a small group of friends and tennis enthusiasts together to form a tennis club exclusively for their age group. This group established a not-for-profit organization with the name "Senior Tennis Players Club." STPC went on to organize doubles matches for themselves at the old Parade Stadium courts near downtown Minneapolis. Their numbers grew quickly as word spread. Today membership exceeds 1100 members who participate regularly in events year-round at venues scattered throughout the Twin Cities metro area.
Jack Dow is credited not only with founding the STPC but also with its long-term success. Somewhere along the way, Dow decided that novices should be admitted to this group of seasoned players and hired tennis pros including Percy Hughes and the late Ernie Greene, to provide them with beginner drills. Through the years Dow expanded club activities adding tennis camps, parties, drills, clinics and trips. Some of these trips went to Wimbledon, the French and U. S. Open while others were to Florida tennis resorts for member play.
Jack Dow passed away in 1996 at the age of 89. Dow loved the game of tennis, and played five to seven times a week. Dow was inducted into the Minnesota Tennis Hall of Fame, served as president of the Northwest Tennis Association, and, at his peak, was ranked No. 6 in Minnesota. Following his death, STPC initiated a tournament in his name, which is held annually. To further honor our founder, every year the Jack Dow traveling trophy is presented to a member whose attitude, character, sportsmanship, enthusiasm and service best typify the ideals of STPC.
While Dow has passed on, STPC is going strong today with drills, camps and trips as just a few of the opportunities for member participation. Opportunities even include a program for members to teach tennis to inner city youngsters. The club is open to everyone with an interest in tennis age 50 and above.
Because the Senior Tennis Players Club is a nonprofit organization, members volunteer to undertake all of its activities. They serve as team captains, run events, clinics and tournaments and guide the club as members of the Board of Directors. Members are encouraged to volunteer their time and talents. STPC would not exist without volunteers.