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Suncoast Tennis Foundation Making Strides

December 20, 2007 10:30 AM

The Suncoast Tennis Foundation (STF) has been hard at work this year!  From partnering with the Pinellas Sheriff’s Police Athletic League (PAL) and sponsoring a USTA Jr. Team Tennis Camp, to organizing successful fundraising events for facility improvements and running Ralleyball programs for beginner tennis players, the STF has definitely made an impact in the Pinellas County community.  Below are a few of their achievements:

  • A USTA Jr. Team Tennis Camp at Palm Harbor University High School, sponsored by the Suncoast Tennis Foundation, closed out its season by hosting the 1st Annual Turkey Tennis Tournament, a doubles mixer for junior players, on Wednesday, November 7th.  There were three skill divisions and 42 players who participated.  In the French Open Beginner division, the champion was Taylor Mavrakos and the runner-up was Nicole Pastore.  In the US Open Intermediate division, the champion was Chris Grube and the runner-up was Cody Jordan.  In the Wimbledon Advanced division, the champion was Blake Herold and there was a tie for second place between Rachel Tullius and Jordan Snyder.  The tournament was lots of fun, included good tennis, and succeeded in helping fundraising efforts towards facility improvements through the Suncoast Tennis Foundation and the after school tennis program.  The STF thanks all of the parents and students who supported the tournament.

  • The North Pinellas USTA Ralleyball program wrapped up its’ Fall season for elementary beginner tennis players on October 27th at Palm Harbor University High School.  Players played for 6 weeks on Saturday mornings. The final day of Ralleyball and the season ending party was a great success!  Participating in the program were 28 players from 8 different elementary schools in North Pinellas County.  The Ralleyball program will start again in mid February for elementary age students and is for beginner level tennis players.  The STF hopes to have many more participants in the 2008 spring program; particulary enough from each school in North Pinellas so young players can play on school teams.  Look for details and registration information from your school or go to www.ourtennis.net or www.yellowballonline.com in January!

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  • The Pinellas Sheriff’s Police Athletic League (PAL), in partnership with the Suncoast Tennis Foundation (STF), the Community Tennis Association for Pinellas County, applied for and received a grant from the United States Tennis Association Florida Section to enhance the 2007 PAL summer tennis camp program.

    The Pinellas Sheriff’s PAL tennis program originated in the spring of 2003 and has offered tennis camps during school breaks and on Saturdays during the school year since its inception.  Deputy Craig Corry coordinates the tennis program for PAL and has become actively involved with the STF board of directors.  Judy Foster, STF Executive Director, suggested a partnership to enhance the PAL tennis program through the acquisition of a USTA grant.  This grant was awarded in the spring of 2007.

    The Sheriff’s PAL offered an 11-week, full day tennis camp, held at Seminole High School, over the 2007 summer break.  Monies from the USTA grant provided campers the opportunity to receive instruction from a number of USTA tennis teaching professionals. The USTA grant funds also provided some much needed equipment for the PAL tennis program.

    A group of advanced campers were able to compete in a summer tennis league allowing them to qualify for the USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis Summer Sectional Tennis Tournament held in Lakeland, July 27-29.  The PAL “Power Aces” were afforded housing, meals and tournament entry fees through the USTA grant funds and enjoyed an amazing experience competing against teams from throughout Florida.

    A future outcome of the USTA grant will result in the electronic publication of an instruction manual detailing a step-by-step approach to establishing and growing a youth tennis program.  This manual is designed to be distributed to PAL programs and other USTA Community Tennis Associations statewide and eventually across the nation.

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