JOE G. GOLDTHREATE, REGIONAL LEGEND




Joe Goldthreate was the Founder of the Hadley Park Junior Tennis Development Program in 1980 at Hadley Park Metro Parks and Recreation in Nashville,Tennessee. Before his involvement with youth tennis, Joe was involved with the Civil Rights marches in the early 60's. He was the youngest to join the NAACP in Nashville, Tennessee as a Middle School Student and marched with John Lewis and others known leaders.

At the start of 1980, there were 7 young men in his program and all 7 of them obtained tennis scholarships at major universities. Three of those 7 played on the Professional Tennis Circuit.

In Joe's camp, he not only taught tennis, but developed a program that taught self-esteem, honesty, discipline and self-respect. In 1996, he joined forces with Metro Parks and were successful in providing tennis skills to 9 parks and later, this number grew to 14 park sites by 1998. The communities and parents were excited on what they saw that could be an impact on their sons and daughters lives.

The program's primary mission was to expose youth to the sport of tennis and be an alternative after school program as well as get them excited about the sport of tennis. All participates were instructed in the Standard Method of tennis developed by Dennis Van der Meer. The students were taught the bio-method of basic tennis forehand, backhand and the serve.

The community-based program was managed by Certified Professional Tennis
Instructors. This program was incorporated in 1991 as Hadley Park Junior Tennis Development Program, Inc., 50 lc 3 organization. This program has been an avenue for both young boys and girls to pursue tennis as a career as well as obtaining tennis scholarships onto the professional level.

Prior to 1996, there were little minority presence playing tennis and in 1997, there were approximately 3,000 juniors all over the country playing competitive tennis.

Under this program, Mr. Goldthreate has been instrumental in over 500 tennis students obtaining scholarships to major colleges and universities such as Fisk, Vanderbilt, Alabama A&T. Sanford, Florida A&M, Belmont, Austin Peay, Tennessee State ,University of Memphis, UT Chattanooga , just to name a few.

Because of this tennis program, Joe will tell you, he possibly helped saved many young folk from joining gangs, drugs, prisons and other wrong turns they could have chosen.

Over the years, Joe has put his life in the work to keep this program up and running. This little program started in 1980 has now grown to one of the biggest tennis youth program in the country. Folk from all over the country come by to visit and see the work that is being done at Hadley Park in Nashville, Tennessee. It has become one of the state of the art in junior tennis. Joe teaches his students that hard work pays off. You have to practice, practice and practice. If you put in the time, put in the effort, put in the work, you'll reap the benefit.

Joe is married to Patricia Goldthreate for 43 years, has four children and two grandchildren.

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