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Ask and You Shall Receive

January 18, 2007 11:52 AM

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When a person decides to play competitive sports, the costs associated with this decision are unavoidable.  Junior, adult and senior players have to consider travel, tournament fees, food, lodging and training costs.  So how do some players afford this?  The answer for David Dean, captain of the Polk County 7.5 senior men’s team, is this: ask, and you shall receive.

At the beginning of the 2006 league season, David sat down and estimated the expenses for his team, consisting of six players, for the entire year.  The figure he came up with was $700-$800. 

“In leagues, players usually pay for everything themselves,” he said.  “I wanted to find a way to curve the costs, and the answer I came up with was to ask local businesses to sponsor our team.  I put together a plan and went out to places like Carrabba’s, BMW and sporting stores to ask for their help.”

The result was amazing.  Although he did not collect all $800, David raised enough money from Carrabba’s, BMW and Fit Niche to cover entry fees for all his players for the regular league season.  The money also paid for his team to take group lessons from tennis pro Joe Hignight at Lake Wales Country Club and to use their courts for local league play and team practices.

“Joe has been very generous with his time and for use of his facilities,” David said.  “He is a stand up guy.”   

Sporting company Fit Niche also provided the entire team with matching dry fit shirts, which had each sponsor’s logo on it.

Teammate Jerry Counter traveled in style with his wife, Jo Ann, to the tournament in their beautiful RV.  Their RV served as the hang out spot for the entire team during breaks.

“This is our first year as a team playing in the BMW Combo event,” said Jerry.  “David is phenomenal because he single handedly got individual businesses to sponsor our team.  The event was great and we all had a good time!”

There are many programs, grants and scholarships offered by the USTA which help players afford costs associated with playing tennis; however, the USTA cannot cover it all.  Be courageous and reach out to your community like David Dean.  The worst thing to happen is they say no; and the best thing? 

Well, ask and you shall receive!

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