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$200,000 USTA Grant to Unique Tennis Initiatives in Florida's Hillsborough, Seminole Counties

March 15, 2011 10:30 AM
10andunderlogo_stack_4c-201Two Florida tennis markets are undergoing a unique path to growing 10 and Under Tennis starting this spring after the United States Tennis Association (USTA) national office and USTA Florida are granting a total of more than $200,000 to the communities of Hillsborough County (Greater Tampa) and Seminole County (located north of Orlando) over the course of three years.

The USTA's 10 and Under Tennis initiative featuring the QuickStart play format is at the center of the USTA's Target Market Initiative, a $2 million investment in 20 tennis communities throughout the United States to grow the game by partnering schools districts, city/county parks and recreation, private/home schools, after-school and out-of-school programs, youth organizations, public and private tennis facilities, and existing local USTA community tennis associations.

"These three-year initiatives in Hillsborough and Seminole counties are unique because they bring everyone to the same table, whereas in most communities, all these entities are working independently to grow the game," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director Andy McFarland. "USTA Florida has hired a 10 and Under Tennis Coordinator each for Hillsborough and Seminole counties, and their jobs are to help lead these efforts for their target markets, bringing local partners to the same table to grow the game."

Both the Hillsborough and Seminole county target markets will concentrate on growing 10 and Under Tennis school and after-school pathways. Hillsborough County has approximately 198,000 students, making it the 8th largest school district in the U.S. with 206 schools. Tennis is a mandated sport in the county's middle schools every other year. This weekend the renovated Hillsborough Community College tennis facility, which boasts permanent 10 and Under QuickStart Tennis Courts, will feature a free USTA Youth Tennis Festival on Saturday, and on Sunday the Grand Opening Celebration featuring a tennis carnival for the whole family. For more information go to  http://www.florida.usta.com/hillsborough_community_college_tennis_in_tampa_hosts_community_events111/.

The Seminole County target market's primary strength will be the partnership between Seminole County Schools and Seminole County Leisure Services (Parks & Rec.). These entities plan to expand offerings of the Seminole County Extended Day Child Care Program, and after-school tennis programs to students at park sites near or adjacent to schools, programs which will then feed into high school tennis, the new USTA Florida High School JV League, and Jr. Team Tennis.
"Leveraging these relationships with schools and parks and recreation, this will be a terrific model for the state of Florida and perhaps other parts of the country as well," said USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "Last year we started a JV League with high schools from Seminole and Orange Counties that play off-season in the fall, and in the spring concurrent to the varsity season. The high school coaches and local teaching pros involved support these no-cut programs and are keen to see them grow, as they also grow their businesses. All these endeavors will grow 10 and Under Tennis, and increase business for area teaching pros and clubs."

The two Florida target market investments are among 20 nationally in 2011, and 100 planned by USTA National by 2013, an investment of more than $10 million to promote 10 and Under Tennis pathways in key communities.

Other key USTA markets receiving grant funding in 2011, in addition to Hillsborough and Seminole counties, are San Diego and Sacramento, CA; New Orleans and Shreveport, LA; Greenville/Spartanburg, SC; Charlottesville, VA; Montgomery County, MD; Indianapolis, IN; Midland, MI; Bridgeport, CT; Harlem, NY; St. Paul, MN; Amarillo and Corpus Christi, TX; Trenton, NJ; Portland, OR; and Honolulu, HI.

Jeff Davis, USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Coordinator -- davis@florida.usta.comor (727) 458-2742 





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