Jane Forman still on her game and moving forward

By Gary Alan Ruse….

Jane Forman is pictured on the court at Coral Reef Park.

Jane Forman played professional tennis for 11 years and was a four-time All- America at Clemson University, so she knows something about winning and losing, and that a career is made up of many games, sets and matches.

Perhaps that is why, although disappointed with the Palmetto Bay Village Council’s 4-1 vote that ended her tennis facility contract with the municipality, she is determined to go forward with her sports efforts. The last day of her program at Coral Reef Park is Apr. 30.

“We’ve been here for 17 years,” Forman said. “That was a development not only of our programs but also of goodwill, of charity for the community, of dropping your kids off to us. This goes well beyond tennis. Tennis is obviously the foundation of what we do, but what we’ve developed goes well beyond it.”

Although left with little time to wrap things up at Coral Reef Park, Forman already has her program up and running at another location, which will help.

“Less than a year ago, my tennis management facility signed an agreement with the Jewish Community Center, so we’ve been operating there for almost a year,” Forman said. “It’s a phenomenal place, and our immediate plan, without interruption, is to transfer as much of our business as we can to the JCC.

“A lot of the feedback we’re getting from those in the area here is that they’re going to follow us because the kids have their coaches, the adults have their pros, and they don’t want to lose the connection and their ties.”

The Alper Jewish Community Center is located on SW 112th Avenue at 112th Street in Kendall.

“Is it less convenient for Palmetto Bay residents? Yes,” Forman said. “But our summer camps are going to go full blown there, and it’s right next to the golf course where we run our golf program, so there are a lot of positives. We also have swimming there. That’s going to be a huge factor for the kids. I think our program will be bigger and better.

“There are other public parks that are going up for bids shortly that I’ll certainly put in for. And we have other organizations and institutions that are contacting me.”

Forman said that she also operates a separate program called Dade County Sports, an after school sports program with 14 elementary and K-8 centers at which she provides soccer, flag football and basketball for public schools after classes.

“It’s a league,” Forman said. “It’s a real big community program and we’re really excited about that. On top of that, I have a foundation that runs two Miami-Dade County parks, one out west at Kendale Lakes Park and one at a northwest park, where we operate programming and facility rentals. So tennis is an important part of my life, and it’s an important part of this community, but it’s just one of the things we do.”

She said she appreciated the lone vote of support from Councilmember Patrick Fiore, and all the residents who supported her.

“I want people to know that all of us at the tennis academy here love this park; we love the community; we are very sad to leave because of the ties with them,” Forman said. “We’ve been here since November of 1994 and we’re teaching a second generation of kids. That’s an incredible feeling. We feel as though we’ve serviced this area to the best of our ability. We feel the overwhelming support, especially now, and it’s humbling. We’ll never forget it.”

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