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ATP Delray Beach ITC Unveils QuickStart Tennis Workshop in 2011

November 18, 2010 09:52 AM
NEW DelrayITC.jpg
QuickStart Tennis instructors work with beginner children
Some of the biggest names in tennis have graced the courts at the ATP Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. Now organizers of the event are teaming with USTA Florida to introduce a greater number of 10-and-under children to the game, and develop a next generation of U.S. tennis champions coming out of Florida QuickStart leagues, clinics and programs.

Through USTA Florida's "Share the Love" initiative, the Players International Management Inc., organizers of the ATP World Tour Delray Beach tournament, have received $7,000 to launch the inaugural "The Pros of QuickStart Tennis" workshop.

"We're very excited to create and host the inaugural 'The Pros of QuickStart Tennis' Workshop at the 2011 Delray Beach ITC," said Delray Beach ITC Tournament Chairman Ivan Baron. "It has the potential of being the catalyst for a surge of American talent that could span the next 20 years and beyond. The combination of a grassroots QuickStart event and the Delray Beach ITC, an event that puts the ultimate culmination of tennis achievement on display, completes the 'tennis circle of life' and puts it on display for an incredibly magical week.

"This project is an educational opportunity for tennis teaching professionals that will coincide with the first-ever QuickStart USTA-sanctioned event to be held on opening day at the Delray Beach ITC, the world's only combined ATP World Tour and ATP Champions Tour event featuring past players such as John McEnroe, Patrick Rafter, Mats Wilander, Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, James Blake, the Bryan Brothers, Lleyton Hewitt and more."

The educational seminar will involve teaching pros and staff from USTA Florida, the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA), the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR), and the Delray Beach ITC. Participants will receive an overview of the QuickStart Tennis format, including beginning and advanced on-court components, as well as off-court and business components of QuickStart.

"This seminar will come to be known as a key component in educating teaching pros on the QuickStart Tennis format," Baron said. "Pros from around the state and country will be invited to take part. We envision this seminar to take on the same magnitude as the annual USTA Tennis Teachers Conference in New York each year during the US Open, but with a focus on QuickStart-only for the 10-and-under player -- the future of American tennis."

QuickStart Tennis is designed for children age 10-and-under, older beginning players and senior tennis players, featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where current stars such as Roger Federer, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes. To see a video of QuickStart Tennis in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

USTA Florida's Share the Love campaign is a $500,000 initiative on top of the organization's regular annual giving to promote a wide range of community initiatives.

USTA Florida annually directs 90% of member dollars back into the community to support tennis programs and projects throughout Florida. USTA Florida's Share the Love grant program helps fund tennis programs and projects throughout Florida communities during challenging economic times. Funding priorities include QuickStart Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to QuickStart courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

"We look forward to this major event in 2011, working with teaching pros to get, and keep, more 10-and-under children in tennis through the fun new QuickStart format," said USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "USTA Florida appreciates the annual effort of the Delray Beach ITC in growing and promoting the game at all levels. It is with USTA membership dollars that we are able to offer program grants to organizations like these."

Share the Love grant applications are still being accepted by USTA Florida at www.USTASharetheLove.com, or questions can be e-mailed to grants@florida.usta.com. For more information on QuickStart Tennis in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.






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