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Third Annual School Tennis Summit

May 27, 2008 10:37 AM

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USTA Florida hosted the third annual School Tennis Summit in partnership with the Council of District Administrators (CODA), May 22-23, at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Daytona Beach, Fla. The two day Summit brought together approximately 80 invited school district administrators, after-school tennis organizers, CODA members, FAHPERDS board members (Florida Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance, and Sport), USTA National staff, USTA Florida regional school tennis organizers, physical educators, district school tennis organizers and USTA Florida Section staff with a common goal to promote the growth of tennis in PE and after-school programs.

John MacDonald, School Tennis Summit Organizer and USTA Florida School Tennis Coordinator, said the Summit drives tennis in Florida schools throughout the coming year. The Summit, held at the ERAU athletic center, housed a total of 15 mini-courts set-up to emulate the ease of introducing the sport to children in or after school. Through professional education training in topics such as Tennis in Physical Education and School Tennis in the Future, coupled with an action-packed Interactive Tennis Workshop and a USTA School Tennis In-Service led by Jason Jamison, USTA National Manager, School Tennis, education leaders and attendees received the necessary resources to keep tennis growing in schools throughout Florida and in other USTA Sections nationwide. Perhaps even more impressive was the summit attracted the best of the best in USTA School Tennis.

Karen Green, USTA National Schools Tennis Coordinator, is a two-time returnee to the annual Summit. “The thing that strikes me the most is that I see the same faces which are a testament to how successful this training is,” she said. “The fact that you can attract high National staff and school administrators to attend the Summit means you are doing something right.” Two years ago, the National School Tennis Curriculum still wasn’t finalized and Green explained that Summit attendees had a voice in finalizing the national curriculum. “They had a message and experiences that really changed how the USTA developed the curriculum.”

Renowned author, physical educator and co-author of the USTA School Tennis Curriculum, Bob Pangrazi, was a favorite of the Summit. Dr. Pangrazi gave a realistic view of how children are different and how we can all motivate them to do their best individually so they can develop a love of physical activity their entire lives.

Doug Booth, USTA Florida Executive Director, was blown away with Dr. Pangrazi. “He taught us as physical educators how to get every child to enjoy physical activity, whatever level they can attain,” said Booth, who has a degree in physical education. “He was incredible and I walked away knowing twice as much as I know now.”

Kurt Kamperman, USTA National Chief Executive, Community Tennis, gave a brief presentation highlighting the growth of tennis and how the USTA is ready for the growth of tennis nationwide. Acting as a presenter and participant for the first time at the Summit, Kamperman was impressed with the ability to get decision makers together in an atmosphere like this. “If you think about the representatives from the thirty school districts that are here who could directly impact thousands and thousands of children – it’s worth it,” he said. “From a schools standpoint, USTA Florida is progressive and proactive, and we want to see a lot of Sections imitate this.”

The summit closed with in-school and after school success stories by attendees. Michelle Moyer, USTA Southwest Community Tennis Manager, said the Summit was very beneficial because she got to hear everyone’s perspective on the schools program and take ideas back home. “If I could walk away from a meeting with people and resources I could call for support and ideas, that is valuable for me.”

Ronnie Goodall, USTA Mid-Atlantic Community Tennis/Diversity Manager said he left feeling empowered. “The experience has been great; I’m ready,” he said. “I want to go back and do an in-service with schools as I am ready now to do it myself and train them.”

The Summit was an extremely successful two days for USTA Florida because it continued to build strong ties with school decision makers throughout the state of Florida. Every school attendee at the Summit left designated as a USTA Florida “School Tennis Specialist,” further positioning their district PE or after-school program as a USTA Florida partner capable of receiving new tennis equipment and future assistance from the USTA.

Special thanks to all participants and USTA Florida staff who came together to make the School Tennis Summit the best ever!







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