Wake Forest Area Tennis Association

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About Us


TheWake Forest Area Tennis Association (WFATA) is a not-for-profit, volunteer-operated organization with the mission of promoting the game of tennis in our community area.

Our purpose is to be an organizing body for introducing all segments of our community area to the game of tennis, and developing programs that best instruct, develop, and challenge the tennis interests of persons of every age (toddler-to-senior adult) and every skill level (absolute beginner-to-advanced competitive).

Our objective is to have a positive impact on our community, promoting healthy and active lifestyles for adults and children, demonstratng a community-conscience, and serving as a unifying body for the Town, area schools, and area clubs and organizations that may benefit from our tennis programming.

We are proud to have provided fun, affordable, structured tennis programs for a diverse group of men, women, and children representing many races, nationalities, cultures, and socio-economic backgrounds.

The WFATA was first contrived by Barb Avery and Toni Moxley in 2002 as they sought playing partners for the game they loved. These energetic ladies were frustrated that no one was playing tennis despite the completion of 4 new courts at Flaherty Park one year earlier. 


After rallying some of their friends in the community and coordinating their efforts, Barb and Toni arranged for the NC Tennis Association to come to Wake Forest in early 2003 for a Vision Mission Workshop and CTA public interest meeting.  By April 2003, the WFATA became an official Community Tennis Association (CTA), affiliated with the North Carolina Tennis Association (NCTA), and the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Barb Avery assumed the volunteer position of President, and Toni Moxley agreed to be Vice-President.

Having established a legitimate forum, Barb took the charge of recruiting a Board and gathering ideas for creating a program. During that process, she happened to be introduced to Tim Medlin, a former teaching pro, who had experience organizing tennis programs. Initially recruited as a "temporary" treasurer for the CTA, Tim soon became a staple of the WFATA. A former club pro, college player, and National Junior Tennis League community director, Tim also brought vast organizational experience from over 15 years owning and operating a successful real estate appraisal and investment business, and tenure on several civic Boards, including Chairman of the Board for Habitat for Humanity. Once honored as one of the Top 10 young business leaders in Wayne County, Medlin now was a Board member of a start-up tennis association in his native Wake Forest.

The first year, 2003, was extremely successful due to the hard work of the Board, and the leadership of Barb Avery. Fun, local tennis programs were created and publicized, and players recruited (even begged) to participate. Before long a core group of loyal adult players had been established, and a e-mailing list grew to over 200 homes.

In the second year, 2004, Barb Avery continued to push for stability and stature for the young organization, including development of relations with the Wake Forest Parks & Recreation Department. Susan Simpson, Parks & Rec Director, became a key supporter of WFATA programs. Tim Medlin assumed positions as Vice-President and Director of Adult Programs. Additional Board members were added as the WFATA Board became a true "working Board" of volunteers. Medlin created new tennis programs for adults including a Round-Robin Singles League, and in the Fall of 2004 a new team doubles event for men and women, which was named Avery Cup in honor of the pioneering President. With a core adult program established, Barb Avery initiated the grassroots of a Youth Program.

Tim Medlin replaced Barb Avery as WFATA President at the end of 2004. Barb had tirelessly guided the association from a neat idea to status as an official CTA under the United States Tennis Association with an established core group of players and programs, an interactive website, and a viable Board of Directors to carry on. With one of the final acts of her tenure, Avery presided over the approval of a long-range strategic plan which she and Medlin had been instrumental in developing to secure the longevity of the WFATA. 

Medlin would set out to take the program to the next level of development, with priorities such as execution of established strategic plans, enhancement of interactive website capabilities, expanding of overall community presence, introduction into areas of marketing and fundraising, and further development of alliances with the Town, area schools, clubs and sponsors.

Over the next few years, program participation and program options grew every year. The initial frustrations of 2002 over no one playing were, by 2005, replaced with consternation over fitting all the participants onto only 4 courts with substandard lighting. Sighs over empty courts replaced within 3 years by sighs over sidewalks crowded with those waiting for a free court. Limited court space and lighting provoked the WFATA Board to resist marketing itself for fear of over-flooding facility capacity. Still, due entirely to positive word-of-mouth promotion, the core group of regular participants swelled to over 200, and the e-mail list surpassed 400.

Under Medlin's tenure, three major advances were achieved. First, with development of the relationships with Town personnel and policy-makers, in 2005 the WFATA and the Wake Forest Parks & Rec Department entered into an official Joint-Use Agreement, whereby the WFATA effectively assumed the direction of tennis programming for the Town. This agreement, establishing the community legitimacy of the association, was consistent with Town objectives outlined in the Parks & Rec Master Plan. Chapter 4 of the Master Plan established in Goals 5 & 6 the enhancement of public sector programming and facilities through partnership opportunities with private sector organizations.

A second milestone was achieved in 2007, when the Flaherty Park Tennis Center had the grand opening of the expanded facility. The original 4 courts at Flaherty Park had been stripped of lighting plans amidst 2001 budget cuts. With the simultaneous reversal of plans to light new courts at Wake Forest Rolesville High School, the growing town of Wake Forest was to be left without any lighted tennis courts. P&R Director Susan Simpson responded to this situation, pushing for the best available used lighting fixtures she could identify and get approved. So while Flaherty Park tennis courts were spared the fate of being a daytime-only venue, the lighting was substandard with the two interior courts being unsuitable for any type of organized competitive play. Now in 2007, the new construction project consisted of resurfacing the original 4 courts, construction of 4 additional courts, stadium-quality lighting on all 8 courts, and a large picnic-shelter. Tennis had a home in Wake Forest, and it was undeniably the result of increased tennis activity spurred by the WFATA, and the political and community initiatives of the WFATA leadership.

Also in 2007, a third mile-marker was realized with the first hiring of a Tennis Director. While the WFATA remained a not-for-profit organization with still-limited revenue sources and no public funding support, a bold leap of faith was made by the Board and Moses Akor, the approved Director, to establish a full-time position for facilitating the growth of the WFATA program.

A Grand Opening Celebration was organized for the Flaherty Park Tennis Center the weekend of July 13-15, 2007. This major community event, featuring a Ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Vivian Jones and NC Tennis President Kelly Gaines, a Turning On the Lights ceremony with Recreation Advisory Board Chairman Thomas Hodges, and a full weekend of festivities and tennis programs, provided a great opportunity to introduce the new Tennis Director, and served as a launching pad for exciting new horizons for the WFATA.

How Can You Help?

Volunteers are regularly needed as Board Members, task force members, event coordinators, and one-time activity volunteers. There would be no tennis program in Wake Forest without the volunteers in the association so we hope that you will take your turn, either this year or in the future, to assure the continuation of an active, fun tennis program.

For more information email us at:


Wake Forest Area Tennis Association
P.O. Box 92
Wake Forest, NC 27588

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