tsts

Adult Leagues Adult Tournaments Junior Tournaments Jr. Team Tennis Learn more
.
 

2011 USTA Multicultural/Diversity Tennis Grants Announced; Applications Open

November 3, 2010 01:43 PM
mediawall-multicultural-gra2011 USTA Multicultural/Diversity Tennis Grants Announced; Applications Open

The lack of financial resources has been identified as a major barrier for young minority players who aspire to excellence in competitive tennis, as well as for local program organizers delivering tennis programs to multicultural audiences. The purpose of the annual USTA multicultural/diversity grants is to provide funding to these organizations and individuals. The USTA Multicultural Participation Initiative is made up of the Multicultural Participation Committee, comprised of USTA national and USTA sectional volunteers, and full-time staff members at the national and sectional level. The volunteer committees and the staff work in a coordinated effort to achieve greater multicultural participation in all areas of the USTA.

The Multicultural Participation Committee was formed by the USTA to increase minority participation-particularly in the African-American, Asian, Latino, Hispanic, and Native American communities.

"We encourage all qualifying minority junior tennis players and programs servicing minority players in Florida to apply for these grants, which open up a world of opportunities for competitive tennis players," said USTA Florida Tennis Program and Diversity Coordinator Shelly Licorish. "These organization and individual awards not only honor groundbreaking players like Althea Gibson and Pancho Gonzalez, but opens doors for the next Althea or Pancho."

2011 Grants and Deadlines:

USTA INDIVIDUAL PLAYER GRANT FOR NATIONAL COMPETITION AND TRAINING

This grant provides funding to competitive junior players who have achieved national and/or international rankings, and assures the careful nurturing of young minority players who may be candidates for USTA Player Development Programs. Funding will be based on the success level of the player in the previous year (e.g., end of year USTA ranking list/performance). Candidates must be training and competing in tournaments year round, and have a history of strong national tournament results. 

Grant eligibility includes U.S. citizenship, of ethnic or racial minority background, no older than sixteen (16) years of age, and ranked in the Top 100 at the national (i.e., USTA) level, in his/her age category, OR player must have an ITF, ATP/WTA Ranking. Players that anticipate receiving grants/service assistance in the amount of $10,000 or greater in 2010 from the USTA, USTA Serves, USTA Section and/or USTA District are not eligible for funding via this grant.

Deadline for application is Dec. 31, 2010.

Click here for the full requirements and the application form (PDF).

USTA 2011 EXCELLENCE PROGRAM GRANT

This grant seeks to assist junior development programs in enhancing the skills of the coaching staff, to help the program become more successful in creating competitive players who have the potential to achieve national or international rankings, and to widen the net of opportunities for young minority players who aspire to excellence in competitive tennis.

Candidates must offer a year-round program that provides a high level of on-court instruction and off-court training opportunities, and must have a history of developing tournament level and sectional and/or nationally ranked players, or demonstrate the ability to develop to that class. The grant award is up to $10,000, with on-site coaching assistance.

Programs with USPTA or PTR Certified Coaches on staff will be given preference, and program must be nonprofit or sponsored through a nonprofit organization. The program or sponsoring organization must be a USTA organization member. The program must have entry-level programs that feed into the Excellence program, and strong preference will be given to organizations with USTA feeder programs (e.g., NJTL, USTA Jr. Team Tennis). Any registration fee should be reasonable to encourage participation, affordable for families in the community, and financial aid for youngsters who lack funds must be available.

Deadline for application is Dec. 31, 2010.

Click here for the full requirements and the application form (PDF).

USTA OKECHI WOMEODU SCHOLAR ATHLETE GRANT

The objectives of the Okechi Womeodu Scholar Athlete Grant are to honor the memory, life, and achievements of this exceptional young man, who otherwise would have had a very promising future, on and off the court; reward players who work to excel as much in the classroom as in sports; widen the net of opportunities to young minority players who aspire to excellence in competitive tennis; assure the careful nurturing of young players who may be candidates for USTA Player Development Programs, and may have the ability to achieve national or international rankings; and demonstrate the USTA resolve and commitment to multicultural participation in tennis.

Anthony Okechi Womeodu was much more than a great tennis player -- he was a son, nephew, brother, friend, and academic scholar with a very bright future. He was described by many as having a million-dollar smile, "that launched a thousand friendships." Okechi won a USTA national title at the age of 12, and lived up to the meaning of his name during his 16 years -- "God's Gift." At the time of his death he was a junior in the optional honors program at White Station High School in Memphis. 

Okechi was blessed with incredible athletic abilities and had the demeanor of a champion on and off the court and fields. He was your ultimate sportsman and loved all sports, but the two that he focused on were tennis and soccer.  His high school ring had a soccer ball for the stone and tennis rackets on the side. He was a United States Tennis Association nationally-ranked tennis player at all age levels. One of the highlights of his junior tennis career was his participation in the Junior US Open in New York City in 2004. Also in 2004, he was the singles and doubles winner at the Southern Open Championships, and made it to the finals of the ITF Chanda Rubin Junior Circuit in South Carolina with his doubles partner Jeff Dadamo.

In November 2004, Okechi collapsed due to heart failure while playing an indoor soccer game. He was only 16 years old. This Scholar Athlete Grant that bears his name is a way to honor not only his talent off the court, but his determination in the classroom, and generosity to those who shared his same dreams and visions.
 
Grant requirements include U.S. citizenship, of ethnic or racial minority background, ranked in the Top 100 (at the national (i.e., USTA) level, in his/her age category, or player must have an ITF, ATP / WTA Ranking, and with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Deadline for application is Dec. 31, 2010.

Click here for the full requirements and the application form (PDF).

USTA PANCHO GONZALEZ SCHOLAR-ATHLETE GRANT

The objectives of the Pancho Gonzalez Scholar-Athlete Grant are to honor the memory, life and achievements of the two-time U.S. Championships men's singles champion whose dedication to the sport of tennis brought together fans from all walks of life; reward players who work to excel in leading others on and off the court; widen the net of opportunities to young players of Hispanic/Latino heritage who aspire to excellence in competitive tennis; and assure the careful nurturing of young players who may be candidates for USTA Player Development programs, and who may have the ability to achieve national and/or international rankings.

Ricardo Alonso "Pancho" Gonzalez taught himself to play tennis at 12 years old by watching other players on the public courts at Exposition Park in Los Angeles, and he grew into one of the most talented and entertaining tennis players of his generation -- a two-time U.S. Championships winner and a fan favorite on the professional tour throughout the 1950s and '60s. Gonzalez's parents, Manuel Antonio Gonzalez and Carmen Alire, migrated from the Mexican state of Chihuahua to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Gonzalez was born in Los Angeles, the eldest of seven children.

His passion and intensity led to an illustrious career as the world No. 1 for an unequaled eight years. As a 40-year-old in 1968, he reached the semifinals at Roland Garros and the quarterfinals of the inaugural US Open. The following year, Gonzalez played Charlie Pasarell at Wimbledon in a five-hour match that spanned two days and led to the advent of the tiebreak. Gonzalez also became the oldest player to ever win a professional tournament when he won the Des Moines Open just shy of his 44th birthday. Gonzalez was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame while still an active player in 1968. 
 
Grant funding is based on a number of factors including the success of the player in the previous year (e.g., end-of-the-year USTA rankings, performance in national and international tournaments, etc.) and recommendations/commentary about the individual's team spirit and leadership qualities. 

Deadline for application is Dec. 31, 2010.

Click here for the full requirements and the application form (PDF).

USTA ALTHEA GIBSON LEADERSHIP GRANT

The objectives of the Althea Gibson Leadership Grant are to honor the memory, life, and achievements of this exceptional pioneer who paved the way for millions who followed; reward players who work to excel in leading others on and off the court; widen the net of opportunities to young minority players who aspire to excellence in competitive tennis; assure the careful nurturing of young players who may be candidates for USTA Player Development Programs, and may have the ability to achieve national or international rankings; and demonstrate the USTA resolve and commitment to multicultural participation in tennis.

Althea Gibson was the daughter of sharecroppers who was born in South Carolina, and raised in Harlem, NY. A child who lived on welfare, and despite her troubled youth, she still managed to excel in athletics. Gibson exceeded normal expectations in golf, basketball, tennis, horsemanship, paddle tennis and tennis, and even toured with the Harlem Globetrotters as a basketball player. 

Gibson won the first of 10 consecutive national championships run by the American Tennis Association in 1947. This was the only American tennis tournament circuit that would allow Gibson to play, since the USTA did not allow people of color in any sanctioned events at that time. In 1953, she graduated from Florida A&M, an opportunity provided by tennis and basketball scholarships. In 1956 Gibson won her first Grand Slam title, the doubles championships at the French Open, and later in the year won the Wimbledon doubles, opening the door for minority participation in USTA events and elsewhere. Gibson died in 2003 at the age of 76. She was honored on the opening night of the 2007 US Open by the USTA.

Deadline for application is Dec. 31, 2010.

Click here for the full requirements and the application form (PDF).

For questions regarding USTA multicultural grants at the national or USTA Florida section level, e-mail Shelly Licorish at licorish@florida.usta.com.
 
 
 

Back

 

 

 

Print Article Email Article Newsletter Signup Share
 

tsts

tsts

 
AAA_Right_Rail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Close