Frances Simpson-Lang saw an opportunity to grow the game of tennis in her community, but instead of waiting for others to fill the gaps, Frances took the reins and helped guide Mountain View Sports & Racquet Association (MVSRA) to become one of the prolific and diverse destinations for tennis in Southern California.
In the past twenty years, Frances has impacted her tennis community at every level, from nurturing a fledging NJTL program to increasing clinics and programs at the club. Under her leadership as Executive Director and President, MVSRA now features more than 20 USTA League teams, serves as the home court for Morse High School tennis, and offers a high performance camp for junior players.
It’s no surprise that her reflection on Black History Month has much to do with reflecting on the past and finding her role in shaping the future by giving back to those around her. “There are two things that resonate with me during Black History Month,” Frances says. “Firstly, teaching (and learning) my history in its truest form, and secondly, recognizing the achievements of our Black community. As a person, Black History Month reaffirms the fact that I, a proud Black female tennis player, have no excuse to not impact my community, this nation, and ultimately the tennis world.”
She adds, “To me, Black History Month is a celebration of how far we’ve come in the tennis world and a time of reflection on the work still to be done. It’s a season to honor the ones who came before me and their hidden contributions. Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, and Zina Garrison represent the pathway; Serena and Venus Williams represent where we want to go.”
Learn more about Frances at the SCTA Foundation website.