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ON THE NEWS – A Long Beach family’s dedication to tennis earns them the USTA Family of the Year award

By Amanda Palacios KABC logo
Thursday, April 4, 2024 11:56AM


The Bridge family’s passion and commitment to tennis both on and off the court hasn’t gone unnoticed. Recognizing their remarkable contributions, the United States Tennis Association has named them the 2023 USTA SoCal Family of the Year.

“Very, very excited. It was it was a cool honor. I think we’re all a bit surprised. To be honest, we’ve got a lot going on in the tennis industry, but to be recognized for the work that we’re doing was really cool,” said Cooper Bridge, general manager of Billie Jean King Tennis Center and El Dorado Park Tennis Center.

In the Bridge family household, tennis is more than just a game. The family coaches and operates two tennis facilities in Long Beach where athletes of all levels can train through their tennis academy programs.

“We have players from all over the L.A. area. They really commute from the Valley, from Glendale, from south Orange County. Plus, we have players from around the world that train with us,” said Mitch Bridge, director of the Southern California Tennis Academy.

“I have so many friends here and coaches that are super nice. And it’s so lovely to play here every day,” said tennis player Veronika Zarovna.

The Bridge family also gives back to the community through their nonprofit, Bridge the Gap Tennis. Once a month, junior players can come to the facility for free and learn more about the game.

“It’s, you know, like a big free play day that we get to do and we have 100 to 200 kids come out here with their parents. We’ll do face paint, we do free drills where the coaches will spread out among like 10 to 15 courts,” said Jordan Bridge, assistant director of El Dorado Park Tennis Center.

“We take donations, we have sponsorships. So people can come in, they can sponsor with food, they can sponsor with banners, they can sponsor T-shirts. All the money that comes in just supports the kids that come out so they can have a good time,” said mother Kim Bridge.

The bridge family said they hope to expand the sport throughout the region and instill valuable life skills in young players.

“It’s just amazing to see their impact and what they do for the tennis community,” said Lauren Bridge, assistant manager of Billie Jean King Tennis Center and El Dorado Park Tennis Center.