Some of the world’s biggest names in sports have teamed up with Los Angeles County to unveil their game plan for building a massive athletic and academic campus for underserved children in South L.A.
The Carol Kimmelman Athletic & Academic Campus is proposed to be built on a portion of what had been the Victoria Golf Course in Carson – spanning more than 80 acres and featuring up to 52 tennis courts, soccer and multi-purpose fields, and as well as state-of-the-art academic center with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
The USTA Foundation – the United States Tennis Association’s charitable arm – and the Tiger Woods-founded TGR Foundation envision offering their programs at the campus at little or no cost to underserved local youth and families.
Rendering courtesy of The Carol Kimmelman Athletic & Academic Campus “This project brings great potential to transform an underused site into an unrivaled community resource that will benefit not just the South Bay, but the entire region. Individuals of all ages could be enriched by the recreational opportunities made available at the Kimmelman Campus, and the STEM-based learning opportunities at the TGR Foundation would create an unrivaled educational opportunity for our youth,” said L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
The project was inspired by the passion and generosity of Carol Kimmelman, a California native who passed away in 2017. A member of the 1983 national champion USC women’s tennis team and former South L.A. elementary school teacher, she believed fervently in the power of tennis and other sports to transform the lives of young people from all backgrounds.
Two years after she lost her battle with cancer, her husband and four children are continuing her mission to make sports and education more equitable by opening this premiere center.
Doug Kimmelman, President of the Kimmelman Family Foundation, said, “Carol was passionate about the potential for children to learn important life lessons both in the classroom and on the tennis court or sports field. This exceptional, cutting-edge complex will be a safe place for young people throughout the region to experience these lessons firsthand, helping them achieve their full potential and opening doors throughout their lives.”
The USTA Foundation foresees establishing the West Coast hub of the National Junior Tennis & Learning program at the campus. NJTL offers tennis programs, youth services and college scholarships to more than 200,000 underserved youth around the country each year.
Additionally, the USTA Southern California Tennis Association intends to move their headquarters to the Campus and USTA’s Player Development division, which works to develop world-class American players, expects to make the campus its West Coast center of operations.
On the academic side, TGR Foundation – founded by golf legend Tiger Woods and his late father, Earl Woods – will oversee the Kimmelman Campus’ expansive 25,000 square foot learning center, which will be equipped with high-tech labs, classrooms, and interactive stations that encourage innovative and hands-on STEM learning.
“My dad helped me launch TGR Foundation over 20 years ago, inspired by our family motto of ‘share and care,’” said Tiger Woods, the philanthropist, entrepreneur and 14-time major champion. “Like Carol Kimmelman, Dad was dedicated to helping young people find their self-worth and confidence and I’m proud and honored to help her legacy live on. TGR Foundation is excited to be part of the Carol Kimmelman Athletic & Academic Campus, where we can continue to spread our mission of empowering students to pursue their passions through education.”
Dynamic tennis programming for children of all ages and abilities will be offered by both the SCTA and the USTA Foundation’s NJTL program on tennis courts spanning 29 acres, allowing more students throughout Los Angeles to grow and learn life lessons through the sport.
“This is the most significant undertaking by the USTA Foundation on the West Coast supporting our mission of combining tennis and education together to change lives,” said Chris Evert, the 18-time Grand Slam singles champion and former world No. 1 who was recently appointed chair of the USTA Foundation’s Board of Directors. “By making high-quality tennis and educational opportunities available to all local children, regardless of income, this campus will provide a transformative experience for thousands of young people that inspires them to succeed both on and off the court.”
Already, the Kimmelman Family Foundation, along with the USTA Foundation, USTA, SCTA, and representatives of TGR have met with school district leaders, local community-based non-profit organizations, law enforcement officials, and business groups to collaborate on programs and opportunities at the Kimmelman Campus.
The County is also reviewing proposed plans for the remaining portion of the project to include other sports and recreation facilities, including up to eight full-sized soccer fields; two multi-purpose fields that can accommodate rugby and other sports; basketball courts; a sprint track; and training turf to promote active and healthy lifestyles for the entire community.
The Board of Supervisors is expected to formally consider a ground lease and associated environmental documents this Summer.