Back in the 1930s, according to the U.S. Wall Ball Association, beach-goers hitting a bald tennis ball against the sides of wooden jetties inspired the New York Parks Department to build community handball courts in city parks. Today, the game is a professional sport known as Wall Ball and played at athletic centers across the country. Dmitry Druzhinsky, co-founder of MatchPoint NYC, a premier health and fitness complex in Brooklyn, was recently joined by politicians for the Pro Wall Ball Tournament. The annual big competition – billed as the “Battle of the Boroughs,” raises awareness of public health and youth empowerment. The winning team was awarded a trophy and a year of bragging rights.
Politicians, business and media professionals, celebrities, and sports fans gather every year to watch the fast-paced competition. Since 2015 local leaders from Brooklyn and the Bronx, have been smashing the ball to the wall in the Johnny Ray Memorial Pro Wall Ball Tournament at MatchPoint NYC. According to Dmitry Druzhinsky, the cross-town rivalry is led by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. to engage inner-city and under-served youth in physical activity, and also benefits the U.S. Wall Ball Association’s education, anti-violence and anti-obesity initiatives. The tournament, started in 2012, celebrates the life of Jonathan Ray, the late brother of the USWA CEO, and inspiration behind the creation of the association. Dmitry welcomes the opportunity to support organizations that promote a healthy lifestyle to complex.
MatchPoint NYC members, the staff, and Druzhinsky, are proud to be the venue of choice for several cause-driven fundraisers and events that give players an opportunity to demonstrate their skills in fierce but friendly matches, while inspiring young athletes to stay healthy, follow their passion, and do good. In addition to wall ball tournaments, Dmitry Druzhinsky hosts Wall Street finance industry professionals as they compete in the annual R Baby Foundation New York Tennis Tournament, which helps improve outcomes of medical care for infants by funding programs at hospitals; including telemedicine with pediatric experts, mobile simulation training program, symposiums and more. The foundation has raised more than $500,000 in the two years it’s been played at MatchPoint NYC.
Dmitry Druzhinsky is a community philanthropist and real estate developer. In 2012, building on his enthusiasm for tennis and other competitive sports, Dmitry co-founded MatchPoint NYC, a $20 million project located in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn on nearly three acres. The luxury sports and fitness center encompasses 120,000 square feet, featuring a cafe and juice bar alongside 9 indoor tennis courts, 5 dedicated tennis courts for kids 10 and under, a full size gym with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and 3 group fitness studios, junior Olympic pool, rhythmic gymnastics center, basketball court, Yoga Studio, outdoor training field, and a variety of competitive and recreational training programs, including MMA and Sambo Academy. It is the second largest tennis facility in New York City.