ZEPHYRHILLS — The Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center is now gaining global recognition.
“We opened about two years ago,” said CEO and owner Pascal Collard.
The idea for the facility started with tragedy.
“Sarah Vande Berg, SVB, passed away in an accident with three other student-athletes,” said Collard.
She was a young tennis star from Zephyrhills.
“A very good friend of the father, Mr. Vande Berg, a very good friend donated the land to the city,” said Collard.
That prompted leaders to continue Sarah’s story and do something with the land that carried her name and legacy.
“This is, you know, what we created altogether with the city,” said Collard.
The Sarah Vande Berg Tennis and Wellness Center now sits in the heart of Zephyrhills.
It offers everything from tennis to beach volleyball, beach tennis, pickleball, and padel.
“Padel is actually the number one most growing sport in the world. It’s something in between squash tennis that you can play with the walls… and racquetball I would say,” said Collard.
The facility also focuses on wellness.
“Cryotherapy, salt room, massage, IVs,” said Collard.
He told ABC Action News that the SVB Tennis and Wellness Center is constantly expanding and investing in the community.
“The latest addition which is probably one of the most important pieces is that we just built with some investors boarding programs with short-term rentals so that people can come from all over the world and they can study here. We partner with North Tampa Christian School but we have also an online program,” said Collard.
People and students from all over come to train here, including Alycia Parks.
“Everybody is like friendly and loving and I think that’s what I was missing a little bit, so it’s a good environment for me,” said professional tennis player Parks.
“She is the upcoming tennis player. She almost beat the number two in the world,” said Collard.
Parks is back in Zephyrhills after spending five weeks competing in Europe.
“I played French Open,” said Parks.
She trains every single day.
"I do two hours on the court and then fitness or sometimes I do two times a day,” added Parks.
This place gives people like Parks the opportunity to make their dreams come true, and it’s all because of Sarah.
“My goal is to become number one and win multiple Grand Slams and just keep enjoying the sport,” said Parks.
“We want to enhance the community and help the community,” said Collard.
They’re doing whatever they can to inspire others and put Zephyrhills on the map with this facility.
“Definitely this is a big deal and we hope to continue and we hope this is only the beginning,” said Collard.