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Local Resident Gets Company to Donate and Renovate City of Katy Parks Tennis Courts


August 18, 2022

By Natalie Cook Clark

An avid Katy tennis player, along with her employer, donated $8,000 to renovate all 6 Katy City Parks tennis courts. To celebrate she challenged two Katy Council Members to a match. Guess who won?

Katy residents Aileen Rios and Arturo Rios challenged Council Members Rory Robertson and Chris Harris to a tennis match. Photo courtesy of Chris Harris.

Katy Resident and Tennis Player Arranges Donation to City Tennis Courts

A few months ago, Katy resident Aileen Rios attended a Katy Council Meeting with a donation of $8,000, the right amount needed to fully renovate the 6 tennis courts at Katy City Park located at 5850 Franz Road. Rios is a GIS technician at Harvest Midstream. Rios approached her employer about the request, and they donated $8,000.

“Over the past year and a half, me and my husband have met a few of our friends at the Katy City Park courts and it’s a popular area for the community of all ages and playing levels, so we’ve grown very fond of the place,” says Aileen Rios, who has lived in Katy since 2018.

The donation opportunity came from the Hilcorp Energy Company/Harvest Midstream founder Jeff Hildebrand. Both companies met their multi-year goal and the reward was being able to donate to a charity or organization. Rios saw the need to help the tennis courts.

“Thank you Harvest Midstream and Aileen for investing in your community, many people will enjoy your generosity,” says Chris Harris City of Katy Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem.

Rios and her husband, Arturo Rios both avidly play tennis. They are on these courts several times a week. Aileen was quick to introduce Arturo to the sport when they started dating as students at University of Texas in Austin. She says he was quick to pick up and love the sport as she does.

“I started playing tennis in my elementary years, simply joining to play with my childhood friends in summer tennis camps,” say Rios. “I enjoyed the sport a lot so continued to play in my hometown middle school and high school tennis teams.”

City of Katy tennis courts. Photo courtesy of Chris Harris.

A Sport for All Ages and Levels

Rios says she loves how challenging the sport is and she can get a full body workout. “I feel it's also a sport one can play at any age and at a low or high intensity level,” adds Rios.

Katy residents who enjoy the tennis courts have seen the wear and tear. The courts have had faded lines with many cracks. The nets have been also worn down with many holes in them.

Rios encourages those who love tennis and want to learn and improve their skills to visit the newly refurbished courts.

“Find a way to keep tennis a happy hobby and passion,” says Rios. “It’s a naturally frustrating sport. Sometimes it takes hitting 100 tennis balls to improve a groundstroke, volley or serve, other times it takes 1000 or more.”

She cautions others that tennis takes time, consistency, and the building of muscle memory.

“Don’t give up and have fun with it,” says Rios.

To celebrate the newly refurbished courts, Rios challenged Council Members Chris Harris and Rory Robertson to a tennis match. Obviously, Rios and her husband being more skilled in the sport won but it was a fun way to celebrate.

The City of Katy Parks and Recreation are in the process of renovating all city parks.

Learn more about Katy’s parks and facilities online.

“We had a fun match,” says Harris. “Hopefully Rory and me will improve our game!”


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