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Coach Frances: A Mother’s Evolving Story

Coach Frances’ Appeal Letter :
The Jackie Robinson Tennis community in Bed-Stuy has grown tremendously, partly due to the community’s passion, love, and commitment to the game. In addition, it has grown because of HQ Tennis’s Head Coach and Director, Frances Ferdinand’s ability to inspire, educate, and foster relationships with tennis lovers from all over the community and beyond.

For the past 5 years, HQ Tennis has brought high-quality tennis to the community through free tennis programming for young and old, summer camps for the youth, job opportunities, and special community events that especially target the underserved, predominantly Black and brown residents of the local housing projects merely across the street from the courts.

If it weren’t for the efforts of the HQ Tennis team, along with the support of the Friends of Jackie Robinson Park Playground, the tennis courts would not have been renovated to USTA standards, allowing local youth, for example, to engage in officially sanctioned tournament play.

Coach Frances Ferdinand and HQ Tennis recently lost their bid for a renewal of the 5-year concession on Jackie Robinson Park Playground. This was a loss because of an unclear and unfair process that allowed a bidder from outside the neighborhood with deep pockets to take over the tennis courts. Despite what is stated in the application about the selection process weighing in on several factors, including community engagement, it was recently revealed that the decision was made solely based on the monetary size of the bid.

Our neighborhood parks and playgrounds are not for sale. We demand that concessions in our parks prioritize residents and include programming that is financially and culturally accessible. HQ Tennis has done a phenomenal job building, uplifting, and upgrading the quality of life in the area, and I want to express my support for HQ appealing the current decision.


I want to see HQ Tennis have a fair opportunity to continue the concessions.
Please reconsider the concession winner today and now. We need a new vote that includes that community voice for HQ Tennis and Coach Frances this 2024 season and beyond.
A former student of Coach Mario Bonelli, one of Bedford-Stuyvesant’s unsung heroes who brought the joy of tennis to countless disadvantaged youth for over 4 decades, Coach Frances was given a scholarship to attend Morgan State University and went on to attain her Master’s degree in Sports Management while also competing for the University of East London.

However, having witnessed her own mother struggle to pay for her lessons, Coach Francis returned back to Brooklyn to play it forward.

Contact Info:
Jackie Robinson Tennis Courts
341 Malcolm X Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11233
917-740-7995 |