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500 Champion Elementary Students Experience 10 and Under Tennis via USTA Florida Grant

May 9, 2011 01:50 PM
kids-racquet-sandwich-web
Students practice hand-eye coordination with a
10 and Under tennis drill
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USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth works with children during a 10 and Under Tennis drill
Molly-and-kids-through-the-legs-web
Students practice hand-eye coordination with a
10 and Under tennis drill
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Teachers and students team-up for a game of doubles
Approximately 500 elementary school children, many who have never been exposed to tennis, experienced 10 and Under Tennis games, skill contests, and exhibitions when USTA Florida held two tennis sessions at Champion Elementary School on May 9, 2011.
 
The event came about after the USTA Florida Section, headquartered in Daytona Beach next door to the school, “adopted” the students and supplied 10 and Under Tennis racquets, balls and nets for Physical Education classes.
 
“The equipment was given to the school as a grant to extend tennis to these children who do not have standard tennis courts at their school, but do have a large concrete area to set up nets and mini-courts,” said USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth. “This is part of USTA Florida supporting our partnership with First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move!’ initiative to get more kids active on a regular basis.”
 
Rita Gladstone, a USTA National staff trainer, and USTA Florida staff taught K-2nd grade and 3rd-5th grade children using the USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis format, which utilizes smaller racquets, nets, court sizes, and low-compression balls scaled for child-sized learning of tennis basics. 10 and Under Tennis allows children to immediately engage in rallies and stay in constant motion. The event was the kick-off for the Physical Education unit on tennis the children were starting.
 
“Many kids do not have the chance to play tennis, but this program gives them the opportunity to learn the skills and enjoy the sport,” said Champion Elementary Physical Education Teacher Rebecca Haus. “Some of these kids may have a future in tennis but will not know unless they get the opportunity to try it and learn the skills.”
 
Tennis is one of the three major sports involved in the national “Let’s Move!” campaign, and has featured in television commercials with Michelle Obama and Andre Agassi and his wife Steffi Graf.
 
 “It’s important for kids to get the hour of active play they need every day,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “Thanks to programs like the USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis initiative, it’s easier than ever for kids to get active and have fun.”
 
Over the last 12 months USTA Florida has distributed more than $200,000 in grants for 10 and Under Tennis to schools like Champion Elementary, and also clubs, facilities, parks and recreation and other organizations throughout Florida.
 
 “We are going to quadruple the number of kids age 10 and under playing tennis in Florida in the next five years,” Booth said. “These kids can live a longer, healthier life playing the lifetime sport of tennis.”
 
For more information on the USTA Florida “Share the Love” initiative go www.ustaflorida.com. For more information on 10 and Under Tennis to to www.10andUnderTennis.com.
 
 
 
 

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