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Florida Tennis Briefs(4): MWKF Grant; USTA Region 7 Boundaries Change; More

July 29, 2011 10:56 AM
MaliVai Washington Tennis in Jacksonville Receives $15K 'USTA Serves' Grant

mediawall-USTA ServesUSTA Serves, the national philanthropic and charitable entity of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), announced it has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to 39 community tennis organizations and other foundations during its 2011 spring funding cycle.   

The MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation in Jacksonville was the recipient of a $15,000 grant to provide disadvantaged, at-risk children the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format, and to help combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles.

"This grant from USTA Serves will further the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation's mission to develop champions in classrooms, on tennis courts and throughout Jacksonville communities," said MWKF Executive Director Terri Florio. "This grant will help fund programs that see children that would otherwise fall through the cracks instead engage in after-school programs, become involved in their community, apply themselves in school and end up going to college. In the 15 years we've been doing this, we've had youth from difficult neighborhoods who see no opportunities outside the one-mile radius where they live go on to become college graduates who make a difference in the world."

The mission of the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation is "to develop champions in classrooms, on tennis courts and throughout communities." The MWKF operates out of the MaliVai Washington Youth Center at Emmett Reed Park, a $3 million facility featuring eight tennis courts, three permanent 10 and Under Tennis 36-foot courts, a basketball court, library, classrooms, teen room, multi-media center, fitness room, kitchen, as well as MWKF administrative offices. The program serves approximately 150 area youth with its after-school youth development program which offers free homework assistance, tennis lessons, and life skills classes for Jacksonville's underserved youth. MWKF also offers competitive tennis programs, a summer camp and community partnerships and programs through the MaliVai Washington Youth Center.

The USTA Serves grants, chosen by a USTA Grant Proposal Review Committee comprised of Foundation board members and USTA national staff, with important input from USTA sections, are awarded to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by leading healthier lives, succeeding in school and becoming healthier citizens.

"USTA Serves is proud to continue to support organizations that believe in the powerful combination of tennis and education to help make a difference in the lives of kids," says Mary Carillo, a Naples, Fla., resident and president of USTA Serves. "We've seen, time and again, that when you give young people a chance to succeed, they grab the opportunity and make the most of it. That's why we support and commend these organizations that provide kids with that chance, and we look forward to supporting even more programs in the next grant cycle."

During its 2011 spring funding cycle, USTA Serves granted 39 community tennis organizations and other foundations more than $400,000 in grants. To date, USTA Serves has disbursed more than $10 million to a variety of programs that work to support community and youth tennis.

For more information on USTA Serves, visit www.usta.com/foundation. For additional information on the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation go to www.malwashington.com.

USTA Florida Region 7 League Boundaries Change for Lee/Charlotte, Collier Counties Players and Facilities

League-Florida_2cUSTA Florida league tennis players and club/facility boundaries in Lee/Charlotte and Collier counties (Region 7) that formerly stretched over county boundaries have been changed to accurately reflect their boundaries on region maps.

"In order to make county lines crystal clear for USTA League players and facilities in Region 7 [Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties] as to area boundaries, the geographic borders have now become completely transparent," said USTA Florida Director of Leagues Sandy Marshall.

The USTA Lee/Charlotte and Collier counties boundary will be Bonita Beach Road, whereby communities north will be considered Lee/Charlotte counties, and communities south will be considered Collier County.

"By doing this we believe there will be less travel or commuting time for some players," Marshall said. "Also there will now be potential opportunity to open doors to new facilities who up until now have not had teams in USTA local league programs. We thank players and facilities for supporting our USTA League programs."

For more information on USTA Leagues in Florida go to www.florida.usta.com/usta_adult_senior_leagues/home/.

31 Beginner Tennis Ladies Enjoy USTA Florida F.L. (Fun League) at Eagle Harbor in Jacksonville

Tennis Blast logo-GREEN--2.5-BLASTA free Saturday morning of tennis clinics and play was enjoyed by 31 beginning women players on July 23, 2011, when USTA Florida hosted a USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast at Eagle Harbor Country Club in Jacksonville, Fla. Players attended the event from area clubs that also included Julington Creek Plantation, Mills Field, Williams Family YMCA, and Boone Park.

"The ladies participated in a warm-up clinic run by Eagle Harbor pros Bill Chapman and Jamie Booras as well as San Jose's Zach Ganger and Mills Field's Heather Leister," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Amanda Becker. "Then they separated onto eight courts for a fun doubles round robin where they rotated courts every 20 minutes."

Attendees also received information on league opportunities and programs for beginning players, presented by Jodi Manning of the USTA Florida Leagues Department from the USTA Florida headquarters at the Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach. USTA League is the country's largest recreational tennis league, helping more than 325,000 players nationwide get on the court, have a good time, and step up their game. The League is organized as competitive team match play, with teams made up of a minimum of 5-8 players depending upon division. Teams and matches are set up according to NTRP (National Tennis Rating Program) ratings, so teammates and opponents are at the same skill level, with leagues ranging from the 2.5 beginner level up to 5.0 advanced and Open divisions. The competition is exciting, the atmosphere is social, and since players compete on teams, they have a built-in cheering section.
Players also participated in a "Hit for Prizes," and everyone received a USTA Florida league towel and t-shirt.

"We also raffled two cooler chairs, a USTA mug, and a $40 gift card to Whitey's Fish Camp in Orange Park," Becker said. "Lunch was served, and we wrapped up with a pro doubles exhibition."

The Jacksonville area will host another USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast on Saturday, Nov. 12 at Deerwood Country Club. For more info on the Deerwood event contact Amanda Becker at becker@florida.usta.com. For information on hosting a USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast event, contact Sandy Marshall at marshall@florida.usta.com.

Lee/Charlotte, Collier Counties (Region 7) USTA Adult League Region Playoffs Wrap-up

by Fran Coryell, TennisLife-Florida Region 7 (South Gulf Coast) writer

The heat was definitely on in Region 7 (Lee/Charlotte, Collier counties) in July as the first round of USTA Adult League Regional Championships playoffs were held at the Naples Grand Resort.   

On the weekend of July 16-17, 2011, teams from Lee and Collier battled it out in typical Florida conditions, high heat and rain delays, in the best-of-three matches to see who would travel to Daytona Beach for the USTA Florida Adult League Sectionals. If successful in sectionals in August, players will pack their bags and look to win at nationals.

Winning in the Women's 3.5 division was the Collier County team from the Naples YMCA. Captained for the first time by Lisa Weiler and co-captained by Kendra Boyack, the team won both halves of the regular season to earn the right to play in Naples. 

Said Lisa of the team's victory, "Everyone rose to the occasion, it was a total team effort. We have a great group of girls on the team, and next we plan on going up and having a lot of fun and being competitive at sectionals." 

Winning in the men's 3.5 division was the Collier County team also from the Naples YMCA. Captained by Steve Akers for the 2nd year in a row, his team swept both halves of the regular season and is now looking forward to their trip to Daytona. 

"We only lost last year by one court, so it is really special to make it this year," Steve said. "Everyone did real well this year, we had five new players on the team and all 12 of our players contributed to us making it to sectionals."
Winning the men's 4.5 division was the West Bay Club in Estero, captained by Frank Fourgeau. The West Bay team won both halves of their regular season, and swept their opponents from Fisherman's Village 3-0 in the playoffs. 

"We had a fun weekend in Naples, and we have a real good chance to make it to nationals this year," Frank said. "This year's team is a bit stronger than last year's, and I expect us to do well in Daytona."

Congratulations to all the teams, including: Women's 3.0 team from Gateway Golf and Country Club in Fort Myers captained by Amy Newton; Women's 4.0 team from The World Tennis Club in Naples captained by Jocelyn Badiu; and the Men's 4.0 team for Pelican Bay in Naples captained by Richard Dingfelder.






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