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Daytona Beach QuickStart Tennis Play Day

April 28, 2008 03:48 PM

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The Daytona Beach QuickStart Tennis Play Day, hosted by the Florida Tennis Center on Saturday, April 26, was one of four pilot Play Days arranged by USTA Florida. Using the QuickStart Tennis format of play in a competitive environment, 30 children and their parents participated in on-court warm-up activities leading into competitive QuickStart Tennis play.

“It’s great to see the parents coming out to help and participate with their children during the warm-up activities,” said Andy McFarland, USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Community Tennis. “This is how tennis should be marketed – as a family sport!”

Dave Brown, Director of Tennis/Manager of the Florida Tennis Center and Tom Kelly, Head Tennis Professional, organized the event and assisted players throughout the day. Divided into teams, players picked their team names and headed to the courts for a non-elimination round robin competition. Children used proper age-appropriate racquets and foam or low compression tennis balls, and played on either a 36’ or 60’ tennis court unique to the QuickStart Tennis format of play.

For USTA Florida, the main goal of the QuickStart Tennis Play Days are to see if the QuickStart Tennis format of play can be incorporated in a competitive environment. For Dave Brown, the Play Day was an opportunity to debut the new USTA QuickStart Tennis format of play to local children 10 & under, highlight the Florida Tennis Center facility and introduce tennis to more young kids.

Along with parent volunteers, USTA Florida staff member, Molly Zimmer, USTA Florida QuickStart Tennis Coordinator for Flagler County, Jody Harrington, USTA Florida Orange County Regional Representative, Susie Rahimitabar and USTA QuickStart Tennis Specialist, Rita Gladstone, the children were surrounded by a talented group of individuals to help them succeed.

The 2-hour Play Day ended with hot dogs and ice cream donated by Publix. Additionally, to stress the importance of participation rather than winning or losing, every child walked away with a medal.

Other facilities that have participated in Play Days include the Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola and the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation. The final QuickStart Play Day takes place at the Lake Cane Tennis Center in Orlando on May 17.

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