Lee Kincheloe, Founder and CEO of Tennisbloc, grew up playing tennis. But there were challenges. Coming from a working-class family, Lee’s family couldn't afford to join a tennis club, and the few tennis options that were offered were too far away for Lee to really integrate into. Growing up, Lee disliked the financial barriers of entry into his favorite sport.
“Through all this, I constantly thought to myself, there must be a better way.”
As Lee grew older, he became a tennis instructor and went on to become the director at several small communities. This is where his passion for tennis grew even more, and when he had his ah-ha moment—Lee knew he could play a significant role in breaking down the barriers to entry into tennis. He knew he could bring tennis, “the greatest sport on earth,” to children and adults everywhere.
With that ah-ha moment, Lee set out on a mission to create positive, convenient, and inclusive tennis programs in HOA's, clubs, schools, and parks across North Carolina. As part of his journey, he mapped out all of the industry problems that formed this giant barrier of entry to tennis and set out to disrupt every aspect of it. The result is Tennisbloc.
Since its launch in 2016, Tennisbloc has introduced over 3,500 people to tennis and counting. Lee leads the business development and partnership initiatives, as well as oversees all marketing and product development for Tennisbloc. As was his mission, Tennisbloc manages the tennis programs for over 25 HOA's and clubs, and several town parks and recreation departments throughout the area and is building a strong tennis community that is inclusive, affordable, and convenient.
Lee credits the RTA in being instrumental in acting as both a powerful resource for further integrating tennis with Tennisbloc’s many players, as well as being a wonderful affiliate in working together to create more play opportunities for players across the RDU.
If given the opportunity, Lee thinks that tennis players can achieve great things.
“When we break barriers and empower communities, we start to see just how amazing the sport of tennis can be at bringing communities together and enabling people to learn a positive life-long skill.”