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Summer Fun in Pensacola

June 19, 2007 10:38 AM

Recently, the Pensacola Sports Association celebrated the 30th anniversary of its annual Racquet Round-Up.  A total of 440 campers showed up in Pensacola and Gulf Breeze to get their first experience with tennis, learn the basics of the sport and play lots of tennis games. The racquet round-up took place May 30-June 1 at the Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola and June 6-8 at Shoreline Park in Gulf Breeze.

This year’s racquet round-up was one of the best ever, with 140 more kids participating than last year!  The Pensacola Sports Association (PSA) partnered with the Greater Pensacola Community Tennis Association (GPCTA), Pensacola Jr. Tennis Association (PJTA), and the City of Pensacola to provide two days of instructional tennis and a kids’ carnival on the last day of camp.  The PSA coordinated all advertising and registration, and provided a t-shirt to each of the participants at Roger Scott and Shoreline Tennis Centers.

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The purpose and goal of racquet round-ups are to promote the sport of tennis among area youth. Bruce Caton, Director of Tennis at Roger Scott Tennis Center organized all on-court volunteer support while Shaner Gardner, CTA volunteer, planned help for carnival activities on Friday.  “The kids loved the bouncing castle, hitting for prizes, cotton candy and ice cream,” Shaner said. 

The PSA also joined with the Gulf Breeze Community Tennis Association (GBCTA), Gulf Breeze Park and Recreation, and Shoreline Tennis Park to sponsor a Racquet Round-Up in South Santa Rosa County the following week. Another 100 kids participated in the third year clinic and tennis carnival in Gulf Breeze.  Jim Chandler, head tennis professional at Shoreline Tennis Center organized volunteers and GBCTA support.  Local pros, high school tennis players and CTA volunteers all came out to support the round up.  Even the Pensacola Pelican baseball team mascot joined in the fun and tried his hand at tennis!

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Every year, sponsors, dedicated volunteers, and local tennis instructors allow the City of Pensacola, the City of Gulf Breeze, and the Pensacola Sports Association to present this event at no cost to each child.  PSA Executive Director, Ray Palmer, finds sponsors for events like this every year in Pensacola.

“I love to see the little ones enjoying the game of tennis!” said Ray.

Special thanks to this year’s racquet round-up sponsors which include: USTA Florida, Santino’s, Gulf Power, First Gulf Bank, Albertson’s, Wendy’s, Get-A-Grip Pro Shop and the Pensacola Sports Association Foundation.  In addition, special thanks to all the pros, volunteers and organizations that make this event happen every year!

If you have any questions, please contact the Pensacola Sports Association at 850-434-2800 or www.pensacolasports.com.

Following two successful racquet round-up events, the Pensacola Jr. Tennis Association (PJTA), in partnership with local pros, parents and USTA Florida, finished its six week long USTA Jr. Team Tennis League on July 26.  Every Thursday, teams traveled to local tennis facilities to play beginner Ralleyball, intermediate or advanced leagues.  West Florida, Pensacola Racquet Club, Pensacola Country Club, Holley-by-the Sea, Roger Scott Tennis Center and Pace High School hosted a total of 88 kids and 24 parent coaches throughout the program.   

The league season culminated with a final Championship tournament and celebration for a job well done.  Every player received a PJTA t-shirt, medals, popsicles and winning teams were presented a “Just Like in Wimbledon” platter to display at their home courts.

According to Rene Grifol, USTA Florida West Region 1 Community Consultant, “Parents and children had a great time on the tennis courts with new friends and some good healthy fitness.  It was a hot day, but very exciting for the kids as they got to travel and compete, just like their parents do in USTA Leagues.”

A new 18-and-under high school division also grew from the summer league and will now give older, more advanced players an opportunity to play tennis year round.

The Fall Jr. Team Tennis League is scheduled to begin late September.  For more information, check with you local facility or call Rene Grifol @ 850-206-1277.  

Congratulations to the following teams who were champions in their divisions:

Ralleyball:
Jr. Argos - University of West Florida, captain Kristin Metcalf

12 Intermediate:
Holley by the Sea, captain Ken Campbell

14 Advanced:
Jr. Argos, captain Felix Eligio

18 High School Division:
Pace High School, white team – captained and coached by Bob Metty
(no photo)

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