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City of Largo Receives USTA Florida QuickStart Tennis Grant

September 20, 2010 08:55 AM
largo - play magazine
Largo's Play Magazine
The City of Largo and the Largo Tennis Center will hold a Tennis Block Party in November to celebrate the kick-off of a QuickStart Tennis program for 10-and-under children following a $2,000 grant from USTA Florida.

The grant, through USTA Florida's 'Share the Love' initiative, covers QuickStart Tennis equipment and funding for the "Swing and Serve" Tennis Block Party that will include students from local elementary schools, and will be free and open to the public.

"In the past year the Largo Tennis Center has been active in the QuickStart program and USTA Jr. Team Tennis," says the center's Jennifer McMahon. "We've offered an 8-week program at Mildred Helms Elementary School and assisted Nancy Morgan at Bardmoor Elementary School. We have success in our lessons and in the schools, and we want to carry the success over to the QuickStart program. Our goal is to get young players from the schools to the courts."

QuickStart Tennis is the new USTA-approved and ITF (International Tennis Federation)-approved format for teaching children age 10-and-under, 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/.

"We've hosted two QuickStart workshops at our facility in partnership with the Suncoast Tennis Foundation, and in partnership with USTA Florida," McMahon said. "As a municipality we are also struggling with our budget and need any assistance available to run programs beyond the basics. We feel our program will help us to accomplish our goal of getting these kids more involved in Quickstart and getting young players to develop a lifelong sport in tennis."

USTA Florida's "Share the Love" campaign is a $500,000 initiative on top of the organization's regular annual giving to help fund tennis programs and projects throughout Florida communities during challenging economic times. Funding priorities for the USTA Florida 'Share the Love' initiative include QuickStart Tennis and USTA 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.

"It's with USTA membership dollars that we are able to offer program grants to communities like these," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland.

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 CLICK HERE.





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