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Florida Tennis Briefs(5): Year-end No. 1s; Youth/Tennis Night in America; More

January 14, 2011 09:06 AM
Kenin Sofia Winter Championships 2011
Sofia Kenin after her recent win at the 2011 USTA Winter Nationals
Kenin, Watson Year-end No. 1s for Florida in USTA Jr. Rankings
Girls rule in the final USTA National 2010 year-end junior rankings, released earlier this week. Florida girls take up three of the Top 5 spots on the Girls’ 12 rankings in No. 1 Sofia Kenin of Pembroke Pines, No. 3 Cristina Rovira of Boca Raton, and No. 5 Star Makarome of Wesley Chapel.
Another Florida No. 1 finish was in the Boys’ 16, where Gordon Watson of Naples captured the top spot.

A number of players who may train full-time in Florida at the USTA Training Center in Boca Raton, or at other academies, may not show up in the final rankings for Florida as they are not listed as Florida residents. Here are the Florida residents who finished year-end Top 20 in the USTA National boys’ and girls’ 18-12 age group rankings:

Boys' 18
8  Austin, Gonzales,  Miami 
18  Novikov, Dennis,  Boca Raton 

Girls' 18
10  Collins, Danielle,  St Petersburg 
18  Keys, Madison,  Boca Raton 

Boys' 16
1  Watson, Gordon R.,  Naples  
16  Lederman, Roy,  Golden Beach 

Girls' 16
16  Kuhlman, Josie,  Ponte Vedra Beach

Boys' 14
2  Restrepo, Javier Andres,  Miami 
9  Kozlov, Stefan,  Pembroke Pines  
14  Perez-Blanco, Chase E.,  Miami 

Girls' 14
12  Shishkina, Maria,  Bradenton 
13  O'Loughlin, Julia,  Boca Raton 

Boys' 12
6  Del Corral, Alexander,  Doral  
7  Makarome, Noah,  Wesley Chapel 

Girls' 12
1  Kenin, Sofia Anna,  Pembroke Pines 
3  Rovira, Cristina,  Boca Raton   
5  Makarome, Star,  Wesley Chapel 

mediawall-YouthRegistration_398x26030 Florida Sites Signed-up for Youth Registration/Tennis Night in America
Florida tennis facilities and clubs can still sign-up for Youth Registration/Tennis Night in America events to celebrate youth tennis and grow the game in their respective communities.

Hosting a Youth Registration event puts tennis on center stage, jump starting tennis sign-ups for spring and summer programs and getting parents involved.

Register below to partner with the USTA and bring a Youth Registration event to your community:

* Host your event anytime during March
* Event packs for the first 700 facilities signed up by Jan. 31, 2011
* National marketing plan promoting events throughout March
* Revised turnkey marketing materials for local use

Florida cities/organizations signed-up thus far include:

Auburndale -- Cindy Hummel Tennis Association   
Belleair -- Belleair Country Club       
Boynton Beach (3) -- Palm Beach Tennis Associates Inc.  
Clearwater -- City of Clearwater-McMullen Tennis Complex        
Deltona -- Deltona Tennis Association   
Jacksonville -- Queen's Harbour Yacht and Country Club  
Kissimmee -- Play the Clay Tennis on Princess Way       
Land O' Lakes -- Lake Padgett Estates East      
Largo -- City of Largo  
Miami -- Friends of Miami Tennis, Inc   
Miami Gardens -- City of Miami Gardens  
North Miami Beach -- Arthur Snyder Tennis Center        
Palm Bay -- JMT at Palm Bay Parks & Recreation  
Palm Coast -- Palm Coast Tennis Center  
Palm Harbor -- Johnny Angel     
Pembroke Pines -- BTA Tennis Center     
Pensacola Beach -- Portofino Island Resort and Spa      
Port Charlotte -- Harold Ave. Recreation Center 
Sanford (3) -- Seminole County Leisure Services 
Sebastien -- District 15 NJTL Assoc.    
St. Augustine (2) -- Treaty Park Tennis Welcome Center  
St. Petersburg -- Willis S. Johns Recreation Center     
West Melbourne -- JMTS / City of West Melbourne Parks & Recreation      
West Palm Beach -- East Coast Tennis Foundation, Inc    
Winter Haven -- City of Winter Haven  
For more info visit www.tennisnight.com.
MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation Celebrates 15 Years with 15 Days of Service  

The year 2011 marks the 15th year that the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation (MWKF) has been providing after-school and summer camp youth programs in the Jacksonville community. Numerous events will be planned during the year to celebrate the 15th Anniversary.
MWKF logoFestivities kick off on Saturday, Jan. 15 with an Alumni Reunion at the Youth Center, and is followed by 15 days of community service by MWKF youth. Each year, as part of their Servathon celebration, the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation youth perform a variety of community service projects for the local community. Servathon has been in place since MWKF began its programs in 1997 with projects that include conducting FREE tennis clinic to local youth enrolled in partner organizations and special needs children of Hope Haven Children’s Clinic.
The organization’s board members and volunteers will also lend a helping hand during Servathon. Local partner organizations are also excited to work with the students on this wonderful celebration of volunteerism and service.

The mission of the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation is to develop champions in classrooms, on tennis courts and throughout communities. MWKF is a local, non-profit youth development organization which operates the TnT (Tennis-n-Tutoring) daily after-school program. The TnT program serves 160+ underserved youth in the community and provides free homework assistance, tennis lessons and life skills classes to youth in grades Kindergarten-High School. MWKF also offers competitive tennis programs, a summer camp, community partnerships and outreach programs.

Servathon Schedule of Events:

January 17th-Feb 1st : The entire organization will collect dimes to support the March of Dimes
January 18th: 3rd & 4th grade students will write encouraging letters to soldiers deployed overseas
January 24th: 3rd grade students will make Peace Bracelets for battered women and children
January 26th: A group of middle/high school students will play and work with the
special needs students of the Development Learning Center
January 26th: A group of middle/high school students will help prepare meals for the homeless at the Sulzbacher Center
January 28th: 5th grade students will perform a neighborhood clean up around the Durkeeville community
January 31st-February 4th: The entire organization will collect teddy bears for the youth of Lea’s Place. Lea’s Place serves as a sanctuary for children who are victims of abuse and neglect and have been removed from their home.
February 1st: 5th grade students will hand out informative flyers on heart disease and breast cancer to the Durkeeville community
February 2nd: A group of middle/high school students will read to kindergartners enrolled in the John Love Elementary Team-UP program
February 4th: kindergarten, 1st and 2nd graders will create Valentine’s Day cards for the elderly of Edgewood Nursing home

For more information about these events, please contact Ashley Strickland at (904) 359-KIDS (5437) or Ashley@malwashington.com.

Florida Keys Receive Multiple USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis Grants
Three tennis advocates in the Florida Keys area have received USTA Florida 'Share the Love' grants to implement 10 and Under Tennis programs in the community along the narrow stretch of South Florida.

Nicole Berger of Paradise Tennis is implementing 10 and Under Tennis physical education classes at Big Pine Charter Academy where she is a volunteer.

Florida Keys Map"I would like to thank USTA Florida for all their hard work, as without this grant I could not run a high-quality tennis program," Berger said. "I can challenge my students in a positive way, and both the students and parents see more success with the small racquets and nets. I strongly believe that through tennis children will learn life skills such as responsibility, confidence, and respect. These are skills that will help them later in life to be successful."

The 10-and-under Tennis play format is designed for children 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 the 10-and-under Tennis play format in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

Gary Clermont of Keys Tennis in Islamorada, Fla., owner of the Islamorada Tennis Club, was also the recipient of a grant for 10 and Under Tennis equipment. He looks to jumpstart grassroots tennis programs in the Upper Keys and begin programming at the public and private elementary schools.

"Budgets are tightening so we need help...lots of it," Clermont said. "I have an excellent pro staff and will utilize the high school tennis teams to build their community service hours through 10 and Under Tennis."

Chris Bull is another grant recipient who wears many hats as the girl's varsity tennis coach for Marathon High School, assistant tennis pro, marketing director, and Cardio Tennis coordinator for the Wonderlin Tennis @ Sombrero Resort. Bull has implemented 10 and Under tennis at his club, and introduced the format to the local elementary school, pulling in parents as volunteers and tracking participation.

"Wonderlin Tennis plans on bringing the 10 and Under Tennis equipment over to the Switlik Elementary School and volunteering our time to work with Maria Luther, the physical education teacher, to have all children K-5 grades exposed to tennis," Bull said. "By helping Switlik Elementary School, over 400 kids will be exposed to 10 and Under Tennis. This will help get kids interested in tennis so that they will go home, tell their parents, and pursue the sport at community facilities. With this grant funding we are able to purchase 10 and Under tennis equipment so we can keep costs low and participation high."

USPTA trainer Susan Allshouse and USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Cathy Nordlund have also overseen 10 and Under Tennis Workshops in the area.

"I look forward to seeing the further success of these tennis facilities bringing 10 and Under Tennis to the children of the Keys," Nordlund said.

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 10-and-under Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to permanent 10-and-under play format courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

"We look forward to hearing of the future success of tennis in the Florida Keys as a result of these grants," said USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "It is with USTA membership dollars that we are able to offer program grants to communities 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 the 10-and-Under Tennis play format in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.

Contact Information:
Paradise Tennis/Nicole Berger -- paradisetennisflkeys@gmail.com
Keys Tennis/Gary Clermont -- itctennis@att.net
Wonderlin Tennis/Chris Bull -- chris@wonderlintennis.com

Now Hiring -- Florida Tennis Boom has 2011 USTA Jr. Team Tennis Coordinators in Demand

Arguably the world epicenter of junior league tennis, Florida junior leagues are growing, and USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis coordinators are in high demand. Last year tennis participation in the U.S. topped 30 million recreational players for the first time in 30 years, and USTA Florida needs new team members to help grow junior tennis.

USTA-JTT_2c.jpgUSTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis local league coordinators (JTT LLCs) are passionate tennis advocates who operate as independent contractors, organizing the USTA Jr. Team Tennis leagues within their local communities. LLCs drive junior tennis participation in their towns, cities or counties, depending on local league configurations, and many times start-up junior leagues in their area with the guidance of their regional USTA Florida tennis program coordinator (see regions and list of TPCs for Florida below).

"There is nothing more rewarding than seeing kids playing tennis and learning to love the game for life," says Tallahassee-area USTA Florida Jr. Team Tennis LLC Ida Thompson. "As a LLC, I feel a special sense of pride as all of the kids play their matches and learn how to keep score, move on the court and resolve line calls, all skills that are essential for middle school, high school and adult-level recreational tennis. It's a great feeling to be a part of kids learning to love tennis."

LLC is a part-time, pay-per-player position ideal for parents, retirees, or individuals with other part-time positions. LLCs not only work to increase participation in their area, but also act as ambassadors for the United States Tennis Association (USTA), the non-profit governing body for tennis in the U.S.

LLCs are connected to the tennis community, are in touch with local tennis facilities and teaching pros, organize leagues and playoffs, and oversee scheduling on the TennisLink system. LLCs are thoroughly trained by USTA Florida staff and organize approximately three league seasons per year.

What is USTA Jr. Team Tennis? USTA Jr. Team Tennis brings kids together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering a spirit of cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. Also, it's a fun environment for kids in which they learn that succeeding is really more about how they play the game -- win or lose. The 10 and Under Tennis format is a new way for kids to learn and play the game with age-appropriate court, net and racquet sizes, foam or low-compression balls, and an easy scoring system that gets kid playing quickly and confidently.

o a passion for tennis;
o dynamic customer service, organizational and computer skills;
o a willingness to acquire knowledge of USTA League Tennis Rules pertaining to Jr. Team Tennis and an understanding of the TennisLink system.

LLC work schedules are flexible, but busier at the start and end of each league season. USTA Florida is a volunteer-based organization of "friends of the game" seeking to increase health, fitness and social opportunities for people of all ages in Florida. Be a part of the USTA Florida team.
For further information on area/regional LLC openings in your area, please contact:

Panhandle Region (Emerald Coast, Pensacola, Tallahassee) -- George English, english@florida.usta.com
First Coast Region (Jacksonville and surrounding) -- Amanda Becker, becker@florida.usta.com
North-Central Florida Region (Gainesville, Ocala and surrounding) -- Amanda Tobin, tobin@florida.usta.com
Central Florida Region (Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties) -- Shelly Licorish, licorish@florida.usta.com
Space Coast Region (Brevard, Volusia, Flagler counties) -- Molly Zimmer, zimmer@florida.usta.com
Sun & Nature Coasts Region (Tampa and surrounding) -- Linda Curtis, curtisL@florida.usta.com
Treasure Coast/Palm Beaches Region -- Janet Sprague, sprague@florida.usta.com
Southwest Coast Region (Charlotte, Collier and Lee counties) -- Susie Bessire, bessire@florida.usta.com
North Gold Coast Region -- Michelle Willis, willis@florida.usta.com
South Gold Coast Region (Miami area) -- Cathy Nordlund, nordlund@florida.usta.com 

Click here to see the USTA Florida regional map.
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