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Florida Tennis Briefs: Multicultural Camp; Grants; Pro Circuit Winners; More

February 1, 2011 05:31 PM
Registration Open for USTA Florida 7th Annual Multicultural Tennis Training Camp in Daytona Beach in June

mediawall-multicultural-graUSTA Florida will present the 7th Annual Multicultural Training Camp -- Camp A. C. E. (Achieving through Coaching & Education) for junior tennis players at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., on June 23-26, 2011.

The camp was created to provide players age 11-14 of ethnically diverse backgrounds the opportunity to improve their tennis skills in a camp environment with players of similar age and skills. 

Geared toward advanced players, the overnight residential camp houses participants in dorms on the Embry-Riddle campus. The 2011 camp will feature an orientation for students, parents and coaches; daily tennis instruction with experienced tennis professionals; coaching with USTA national and college coaches; the latest in fitness, nutrition, and college preparatory information; training with former ATP and WTA players; and video analysis to improve strokes and technique.

The camp will emphasize match play, parent education and life skills. Parent attendance for some sessions is highly recommended and will include informative lectures about junior tennis training. The cost of the camp is $350, and there are limited scholarships available.

"We take great pride in welcoming players to this event at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator and Diversity Liaison Shelly Licorish. "The camp is designed to provide training and development opportunities, ensuring that no player is left behind due to cultural dissimilarities."
 
For registration info go to http://www.florida.usta.com/About-Us/7th_annual_multicultural_training_camp/

For more information e-mail Shelly Licorish at Licorish@florida.usta.com.


City of Daytona Beach/Florida Tennis Center Receives 10-under Grant

Florida Tennis Center logo.jpgThe Florida Tennis Center in Daytona Beach was announced as the recipient of a USTA Florida "Share the Love" grant for 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart play format advertising and marketing support. The Florida Tennis Center is operated by the City of Daytona Beach, and houses the headquarters for USTA Florida. The City of Daytona Beach will provide matching funds for the grant.

"Florida Tennis Center of Daytona Beach is expanding its junior focus with the help of a USTA 'Share the Love' grant," said Florida Tennis Center Director Tom Kelly. "The grant will help draw 10-and-under juniors to the center to learn how to play tennis with soft balls and smaller, lighter rackets. Adult-size courts will be transformed to mini courts. I'm excited along with new head pro John Hudson about working with the next generation of tennis players. Our goal for this program is 50 new players."

USTA 10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart 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 10 and Under Tennis in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

The Florida Tennis Center features 24 clay hydro-courts, 20 lighted, and hosts the majority of the USTA League and Jr. Team Tennis league championships in Florida. It is also the host site for local Daytona Beach USTA Jr. Team tennis events, and during the year over 700 JTT players use the site.

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 courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

"We love looking out our windows and seeing children playing 10 and Under Tennis using the QuickStart play format. The kids have so much fun, and advance so quickly," said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland. "It is with USTA membership dollars from adult and junior tennis players across the state of Florida that we are able to offer program grants and give back 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.

For more information on tennis programs at the Florida Tennis Center go to www.floridatenniscenterdaytona.com.

 
Bradenton-based Harrison, Simmonds Win Challengers

Ryan Harrison and Philip Simmonds, who both train in Bradenton, Fla., captured Challenger titles last weekend.

Harrison, the No. 6 seed, defeated fellow American Alex Kuznetsov 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 for the singles title of the 2011 Honolulu Challenger, a $50,000 USTA Pro Circuit Challenger event, at the Pasty T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.

"I was really happy with the way I was playing today, especially in the third set," said Harrison, who lost his serve rhythm in the second set due to a two-hour rain delay. "I'm looking forward to continuing it throughout this season."

Harrison beat No. 1 seed and fellow American Michael Russell in the semifinals. Harrison and partner Travis Rettenmaier also claimed the doubles title by walkover when Robert Kendrick and Kuznetsov pulled out due to an injury to Kendrick. 

In Weston, Fla., 24-year-old Phillip Simmonds defeated Jack Sock 6-2, 6-2 to win the USTA Pro Circuit $10,000 Futures title. Simmonds was ranked No. 1 in doubles after becoming the first American to win the Australian Open Boys' doubles title in 2003, but has since struggled at the pro level.

"It's tough out here, injuries, other stuff going on and you fall off track a little bit. Next think you know you're ranked 1,000," Simmonds told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Just growing up as an adult has helped me a lot in the last six months."

The 18-year-old Sock won the 2010 US Open boys' title.

"It's a lot of hard work," Sock said of establishing himself on the pro tour. "The game and rest will take its place as long as I do what I can control, I'll make a run at it. It's not something that happens instantly. Lot of hard work, endure a lot of pain and hopefully one day get to that level."


Cocoa Beach, Jupiter, Longwood, Palm Beach Residents Prize Winners in USTA Florida Section Foundation Raffle

Section Foundation.jpgThe USTA Florida Section Foundation, the charitable arm of USTA Florida, announced that it raised more than $8,000 during December's USTA Florida Annual Meeting and Volunteer Celebration Weekend to support charitable organizations, and named four raffle prize winners.

Cindy Harkins of Longwood won the grand prize, a VIP trip for two to the 2011 US Open, including tickets to the USTA President's Box, and a two-night hotel stay in New York City with airfare.

The second-place winner was Linda Siris of Palm Beach, who will see the 2011 US Open from Courtside Box Seats. The third-place winner was Bob McCutcheon from Jupiter, who will enjoy a two-night stay at the beautiful Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Fla., and a round of golf for him and a guest. Winning the special drawing, for those that helped distribute an entire book of raffle tickets, was Marilyn Bollo of Cocoa Beach, who wins a trip to the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

"The Foundation extends heartfelt thanks to all those who contributed in this year's events and helped make this campaign a great success," said Linda Curtis, USTA Florida director of community tennis. "Great prizes from the auction were a tremendous hit on Saturday evening and included wonderful weekend getaways, racquets, balls, racquet bags. For those that didn't win, we appreciate your support, and hope that you will participate again next year!"

All proceeds help support the USTA Florida Section Foundation in improving the health and quality of life of Floridians through tennis. Funds raised from the annual meeting and Foundation ventures such as the Florida Tennis specialty license plate allow the Foundation to assist charitable organizations in operating tennis programs for Florida's youth and special needs populations, along with building and renovating public tennis courts.

"Tennis players and fans from all around Florida united at the Florida Section Annual Meeting in the spirit of making a difference in the lives of others through tennis which has impacted all of our lives," said Jean Mills, Foundation president. "Although love means nothing in tennis scoring, tennis means everything to the many donors who participated in the USTA Florida Annual Meeting, making significant gifts to the USTA Florida Foundation. After all, it is only through giving that we truly receive."

For information on making donations to the USTA Florida Section Foundation, contact Linda Curtis at curtisL@florida.usta.com.


sharetheloveDanny Witt Tennis in Ponte Vedra Beach Receives USTA Florida 10-under Grant

Danny Witt Tennis in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., is the latest recipient of a United States Tennis Association-Florida (USTA Florida) "Share the Love" grant for 10 and Under Tennis equipment for use in junior tennis programming.

Witt is the former long-time director of tennis at Deerwood Country Club in Jacksonville, a USPTA certified teaching professional who is also USTA Sports Science certified, has coached USTA Florida Zonal junior teams and several junior players holding sectional and national rankings, collegiate players, and he volunteers with the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation.

"I know that several coaches were skeptical about QuickStart (now known as USTA 10 and Under Tennis) when it was first introduced, including myself," Witt says. "Once I hosted a seminar, QuickStart was permanently implemented into my programming. The early success that kids are having, including my own son and daughter, is very exciting. The starter balls really make a huge difference. Tennis is more fun with QuickStart."

10 and Under Tennis featuring the QuickStart 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 10 and Under Tennis in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

Witt also operates a tennis academy with his brother David, who is a former ATP pro and the current traveling practice partner of former No. 1 Venus Williams.

"The grants that USTA Florida have offered are so helpful to get a full-on QuickStart program rockin'," Witt says.

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 courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

"It is 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 the 10-and-Under Tennis play format in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.

For more information on Danny Witt Tennis call (904) 612-4865 or e-mail DannyWitt71@yahoo.com.

 
 

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