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Florida Tennis Briefs (3): USTA Jr. Awards & Scholarships, More

July 13, 2011 02:14 PM
Five Florida H.S. Tennis Players Receive 'USTA Serves' National Scholarships
Ocala, Palm Coast, Sunrise, Tampa, Valrico Players Receive $6,000 and $1,000 awards

mediawall-USTA ServesUSTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the United States Tennis Association, announced it has granted 78 high school students across the U.S. a variety of college scholarships totaling over $400,000. Among the 78 are five Florida high school students from Ocala, Palm Coast, Sunrise, Tampa, and Valrico.

One objective of USTA Serves is to encourage children to pursue their goals and highest dreams by succeeding in school and becoming responsible citizens. Each year, USTA Serves awards scholarships to deserving youth who have participated in USTA and other organized youth tennis programs, have demonstrated high academic achievement, and require financial assistance for college matriculation. 

"USTA Serves is proud to help these deserving students across the country begin their college careers," said Mary Carillo, a resident of Naples, Fla., and president of USTA Serves. "Each year we are inspired by the students' ability to balance outstanding academic achievements with community service and an involvement in tennis. It is our hope and firm belief that these young men and women will continue to positively impact the sport of tennis and the world at large throughout their lives."

The following scholarships were granted to Florida high school seniors:

USTA Serves College Education Scholarship (55 students each receive $6,000 award)
USTA Serves awards college education scholarships annually to high school seniors who have excelled academically, demonstrated community service and participated in an organized tennis program.

Colin Edwards, Newsome High School, Valrico, Fla.
Lauryn Fabrizio, St. Joseph Academy, Palm Coast, Fla.
Nicole Mera, Chamberlain High School, Tampa, Fla.
Camila Restrepo, West Port High School, Ocala, Fla.

USTA Serves College Textbook Scholarship (16 Students each receive $1,000) 
USTA Serves has established a college textbook scholarship which provides a one-time award to assist students in purchasing textbooks or supplies.

Zachary McCourt, The Sagemont School, Sunrise, Fla.

USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the USTA, provides financial support for disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities through tennis and education programs designed to improve health, build character, teach life skills and motivate students to strive for academic excellence. For more information on USTA Serves, visit www.usta.com/foundation.

Ocala, St. Pete Students Win National Arthur Ashe Essay & Art Content, Trip to NYC

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NJTL Primary
Takuma Walter of St. Petersburg and Naomi Dominguez of Ocala were named national winners of the 13th Annual Arthur Ashe Essay & Art Contest, and will receive all-expense paid weekend trips to New York City for Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, held the weekend prior to the 2011 US Open.

The Arthur Ashe Essay & Art Contest is open to all National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) organizations across the U.S. This year contestants were asked to write or draw responses to the question, "If Arthur Ashe were alive today, what do you think would give him hope?"

Walter and Dominguez will be VIPs at Arthur Ashe Kids' Day presented by Hess, attending a professional sporting event, seeing a Broadway show while in New York City, and receiving a special award at a luncheon held in their honor. Walter was a winner in the Boys 10 and Under division in the Arthur Ashe Art Contest, while Dominguez was a winner in the Arthur Ashe Essay Contest Girls 15-16 age division.

Ashe was known for taking on battles both on and off the court -- breaking barriers in the tennis world, becoming a three-time Grand Slam champion, and the first African American male to win a Grand Slam tournament. Off the court he was a social activist taking on issues like racial prejudice, AIDS, apartheid, and education. One of his many legacies includes the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL), a network of youth-serving organizations that provides tennis and education for all. His wish was for NJTL to be a resource for kids to develop skills for leadership and academic excellence.

Ten national essay winners and four national art winners were awarded trips for two to New York (Aug. 24-26, 2011) by the USTA. For more info on the NJTL go to www.njtlfirstserve.org.

Eagle Harbor to Host QuickStart Junior and Adult Tennis Day on July 23

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Eagle Harbor in Orange Park, Fla., outside of Jacksonville, will be a bustling site of adult and junior tennis on Saturday, July 23, 2011, when it hosts a QuickStart Grand Prix Circuit tournament for children 10 and under, and a free USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast event for beginner adult players.

The free USTA F.L. (Fun League) Tennis Blast event for beginner adult players will be held on July 23 from 8 a.m. to noon.

An 8 a.m. check-in will be followed by an 8:15-9 a.m. warm-up clinic with Northeast Florida Professional Tennis Association (NFPTA) pros Bill Chapman and Jamie Booras from Eagle Harbor, assisted by Zach Ganger from San Jose Country Club, Heather Leister from St. Johns Tennis Academy, and other pros. From 9-10:30 a.m. will be a doubles round robin, followed by a "Hit for Prizes." The morning will conclude with an explanation of tennis opportunities for beginner players in Jacksonville, and a free lunch while the teachings pros put on an exhibition match.

"This is going to be a great opportunity for adults to work on their games, learn some doubles strategy, meet new friends, and also watch some great tennis," says USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator Amanda Becker. "And the best part is it is all free and open to any beginner player, and players can learn about USTA League opportunities."

July 20 is the registration deadline for the adult beginner event, which will be capped at 32 players. If the event is full, players can be put on a waiting list by e-mailing Amanda Becker at becker@florida.usta.com. Registration for the event is limited, and players can register online at http://ustajacksonvilletennisplayday.eventbrite.com/. For additional information contact Amanda Becker at becker@florida.usta.com.

The QuickStart Grand Prix Circuit events feature USTA 10 and Under tennis equipment, with child-sized racquets, nets and court sizes. Similar to other youth sports, such as soccer and baseball, USTA 10 and Under Tennis features equipment and courts scaled to kids' size. Racquets are shorter and lighter, and courts are smaller. Balls bounce lower and move slower, thereby making them easier to hit and keep in play. Kids have fun learning the game and build confidence at the same time. Pros such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters learned the game as children in their home countries using similar child-scaled equipment.

"The key benefits to the QuickStart Grand Prix Circuit events are that it is only a one-day tournament commitment, which is great for kids who have not yet committed to full-time tennis, and it is 2 to 2-1/2 hours of consecutive play per age group," said Eagle Harbor Director of Tennis Randy Jenks. "It has the benefits of both a tournament and a clinic, and is an informal introduction to competition, similar to Grand Prix or Rookie tournaments for older kids. The focus is on fun, the courts are supervised to assist with scoring, rules, etiquette, etc., and there are awards for all players."

The cost for QuickStart Grand Prix Circuit events is $25 per tournament, and the entry deadline is 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 21. The event will be held on Saturday, July 23, beginning at 2:30 p.m. Eagle Harbor will also be hosting QuickStart Grand Prix Circuit events on Saturdays on Aug. 20, Sept. 24, and Oct. 29.

For more information on the QuickStart Grand Prix Circuit, contact Randy Jenks at (904) 269-2500 or rjenks@hamptongolfclubs.com.






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