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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): Pinellas Block Party; Largo's Manning Passes; More

May 6, 2011 10:42 AM
Pinellas County, Fla., USTA Tennis Block Party Returns on May 14

mediawall-tennis block partyOne of the largest "USTA Tennis Block Parties" in the U.S., Pinellas County, Fla., will celebrate National Tennis Month in May in partnership with the USPTA's (United States Professional Tennis Association) "Tennis Across America Day" on Saturday, May 14, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater, Fla.

The Suncoast Tennis Foundation has partnered with the City of Clearwater, Healthy Choices for a Healthy Clearwater, the local USPTA District 7 teaching professionals and Advantage Yours Tennis to provide a day full of tennis racquet and skill games for all ages and levels. Included with tennis activities will be vendors representing organizations that teach healthy living for all ages. These groups include gyms, dentists, physical therapists and rehabilitation centers, dermatologists, a number of health-related groups from various hospitals, health food and vitamin stores, a number of tennis facilities and more. 

The event is free and open to the public, and will feature among other activities free tennis lesson for adults and juniors. No registration is required, and kids and adults will find a variety of activities, with all participants receiving prizes. Some of the highlights for the kids include the new 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart Tennis format that helps children age 10 and under learn and play the game by utilizing child-sized equipment. Now any child ages 5-10 can start playing tennis almost immediately, even if they have never picked up a racquet before. For the age four-and-under group there will be a Tot Tennis Carnival. To add to the family-themed event, the police department will be fingerprinting youth and the fire department will have a "Touch a Truck" program.

Adults and experienced youth players will have an opportunity to play in an informal round robin for all skill levels and receive an assessment of their rating level.  Information will be available on summer tennis camps, joining the USTA and local leagues, and programs for adults and youths at a wide variety of tennis facilities.
A highlight will be free lessons and drills, where participants can learn new strokes and techniques from area tennis pros on the eight soft courts. Players will rotate among the courts to take advantage of the expertise of each of these teaching pros. Following the lessons and drills will be round robin play matches.

The Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex is located at 1000 Edenville Ave., Clearwater, Fla., 33764; (727) 669-1919. For further information contact Judy Foster, executive director, Suncoast Tennis Foundation, at judybfoster@mindspring.com. 

Shipwatch Tennis Head Pro Manning Loses Cancer Battle in Largo, Fla.

Manning Kevin thetennisnewsnet
Kevin Manning (center) with Shipwatch players (photo courtesy: TheTennisNews.net)
Shipwatch Tennis Club Head Pro Kevin Manning, a USPTA-certified teaching pro, died on May 2 after a prolonged battle with cancer. Manning was an active open-division and age-division tournament player who competed collegiately at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., after moving to the state from Virginia.

Throughout his tennis teaching career he worked at a number of clubs throughout Pinellas County.

"In all, Kevin was a teaching pro in Florida for more than 15 years," wrote local resident and USTA Florida volunteer Nancy Morgan. "Although Kevin appeared quiet in nature to many of us, his positive attitude, strength and courage throughout his battle with cancer resonated -- he inspired many more people than he could ever realize."

One of Manning's competitive highlights came in the Fall of 2008 when he represented the U.S. on the Fred Perry Cup team (age 50+ division) at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Seniors World Team Championships in Turkey, where the squad finished third out of 21 teams. U.S. ITF team members traditionally rank Top 5 in their age group in the U.S. to qualify for the national team.

"He loved the game of tennis, and he was out at the tennis courts daily in the last week, even on Sunday morning," said Shipwatch Tennis Club Assistant Tennis Pro Wendall Walker.

Manning asked that donations be made in his name to the Suncoast Tennis Foundation, 1482 Caird Way, Palm Harbor, FL  34683.

BallenIsles Country Club Hosts Habitat for Humanity's 2nd Annual Summer Slam Invitational
Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County will serve it up for a good cause with its 2nd Annual "Summer Slam" Tennis Invitational, to be held Sunday, May 15 starting at 9 a.m. at BallenIsles Country Club's new Sports Complex in Palm Beach Gardens.

Participants will enjoy a "Fun and Games" warm up, lunch, awards and a raffle featuring a Ladies Tourneau watch valued at $1,450 while benefiting the fundraising efforts of the non-profit home builder.

Entry fees in the Invitational include play, lunch and a gift bag. The Mixed Doubles format is $125 per team and individual adult entry is $65. Match format may vary depending on the number of teams in each division. All teams will have a minimum of two matches regardless of match format or a win or loss in the first match. For more information about the tennis invitational, including registration and sponsorship opportunities call (561)253-2080 or click the following link:
Deadline for registration is May 12.

Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County partners with families in need to build affordable homes together. Each Habitat partner family is required to invest a minimum of 500 sweat equity hours of their own labor into the construction of homes before being eligible to purchase their home utilizing a 30-year, no-profit, no-interest loan. Habitat for Humanity is primarily a volunteer organization that covers a geographical area from Hypoluxo Road to the Martin County Line; building homes in Lake Worth, Greenacres, Westgate, West Palm Beach, Riviera Beach and Jupiter.






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