Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 12:05 pm | Fair 71º


Santa Ynez Chumash Helping Fund Renovation of Tennis Courts at Los Olivos Elementary

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is joining forces with Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation to replace Los Olivos Elementary School’s unusable tennis courts with a state-of-the-art surface for both students and the community to utilize.

The school’s asphalt tennis courts were cracked, unusable and in need of a little “love,” so the tribe agreed to partner once again with SYVYR and upgrade the facility — similar to the way the groups combined efforts to install a top-flight tennis surface at Santa Ynez High School in 2011.

“We’ve always been a strong supporter of youth sports,” Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta said, “but we thought this would also be a great way to create a high-quality resource that members of the Los Olivos community could also use for both tennis and basketball. We’re proud to partner again with Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation, and we know this is something that the community will enjoy.”

Los Olivos School’s original tennis courts were donated by SYVYR/Santa Ynez Valley Elks in 1977. Decades of weather damage and tree root complications rendered the courts unusable for tennis. Now, Los Olivos School will soon to be able to use the area for boys and girls tennis, boys and girls basketball, and physical education classes.

“We are delighted to have both the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation donate the funds to replace and repurpose our courts,” Los Olivos School Principal Bridget Baublits said. “Additionally, we are excited to partner with the community to provide a multi-use recreational facility.”

To upgrade the facility, SYVYR and the tribe turned to Sport Court of Southern California, one of just three companies in Southern California that’s certified by the American Sports Builders Association.

“Not only are the courts being repaired, but we’re doing it first-class,” said Frank Kelsey, chairman of Santa Ynez Valley Youth Recreation. “This is the same company we used to replace the courts at Santa Ynez High School. A lot of schools can’t justify the costs of adding or renovating their sports facilities, so that’s where we come in. We approached (Chairman Armenta) about splitting the costs, and he and his board thought it would be a good idea.

“Our intention is to add something to the school that the entire community can use. But our motto is: the youngest group applying for use has highest priority – kids first.”

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians has donated more than $18 million to hundreds of groups, organizations and schools in the community and across the nation as part of the tribe’s long-standing tradition of giving.

Click here to find out more about the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation and its giving programs.

— Mike Traphagen is a public relations specialist for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

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