Member Spotlight

Get to know our member, Alex Parks!

Alex joined Sportsmen’s in September 2020. He had been playing outdoor tennis when the pandemic hit, and he wanted to find a place to keep playing during the winter. Alex had never known of a nonprofit tennis club before. He found that the work that Sportsmen’s was doing for the youth of Boston was important to him, and he was excited to be a part of something so important.

I love that the money that members spend there [at Sportsmen’s] on their membership, court fees, and donations go towards a lot of the youth programs.

“When I looked up Sportsmen’s, I was interested in the mission of the club. . . ,” Alex said. “. . . I love that the money that members spend there on their membership, court fees, and donations go towards a lot of the youth programs,” he said.

Alex is a father to a very energetic 3-year-old son. He hopes to, one day, sign his son up for tennis lessons and start playing with him. “He has a tennis racquet that he uses. I’m hoping that we can get out on the courts when it’s nice out,” he said.

Alex played tennis competitively in middle school and high school. He found his love for racquet sports at the age of 11 at a summer camp. The camp director at the time suggested that Alex try a tennis camp, so his parents set up his first formal tennis lesson. From then on, he played every season and attended summer camps in upstate New York.

“I played 5 – 6 hours per day, five days per week,” Alex said. “I enjoyed it. I made lots of friends through it,” he said.
When Alex went to college, he decided to focus on his academics instead of tennis. He now owns his own media relations company and developed media relations, social media, and writing programs for dozens of companies, ranging from Fortune 500 organizations to venture-backed startups.

“Working from home all day, it’s hard to meet new people, so I try to get out when I can,” Alex said.

That’s when he picked up tennis again. He is now a member of the men’s Central Massachusetts Indoor Tennis Association (CMITA) B-League.

CMITA is a competitive tennis league. In a typical year, Sportsmen’s fields four CMITA men’s and women’s teams at varying skill levels. It has ten teams in the B-league that play 20 matches throughout the year, with matches every Saturday. Alex has played more than ten matches over the last eight months.

“I had a losing record my first year, but I’ve made a lot of progress,” he said. “I was winning more at the end of the year than the beginning, so I’m looking forward to getting another shot at it next year.”

Alex says that he has been so impressed with all of the coaches whom he has met at Sportsmen’s.

“It’s so cool to see them having fun, happy to be there, and always so positive,” he said. “I think they set the tone for tennis.”

Alex has enjoyed getting to know all of them, especially his team captains for the CMITA league. Patrick Yerby is the men’s captain for the Fall/Winter League, and William Willis, a longtime Sportsmen’s member, is the USTA Summer League Captain.

Alex (right) and his son, Jack, (left) getting ready for the 2020 Virtual Tennis Ball. Photo by Alex Parks.