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Inner-City Daytona Beach Tennis Program Receives USTA Florida Grant

August 6, 2010 08:55 AM
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The City of Daytona Beach has received a United States Tennis Association-Florida (USTA Florida) "Share the Love" grant to begin using the QuickStart Tennis format for 10-and-under children at Daytona Beach's Derbyshire Sports Complex.

"This program is focused on providing inner-city kids with an opportunity to play tennis," said Joseph Chirillo, recreational coordinator for the City of Daytona. "Currently we have 50 youth from the ages of 5-14, both boys and girls, playing three days a week at the Derbyshire Sports Complex."

QuickStart Tennis is the new USTA-approved format for teaching children age 10-and-under, featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights adjusted to ease kids into the sport.

The funding will be used to purchase QuickStart Tennis equipment for the city, which has struggled with recreational resources during the current economic conditions. Chirillo says prior to the grant, the young children in the program struggled using donated adult-size racquets and regular high-bouncing balls which made it difficult to learn.

"We have a lot of interest with the inner-city program," Chirillo said. "Our kids are from the greater Daytona Beach area and most are inner-city with very little household income.  We want to improve the youth skills by progressing with QuickStart, mentoring youth and providing sportsmanship skills."

USTA Florida's 'Share the Love' campaign is a $500,000 initiative on top of the organization's regular annual giving to help fund tennis programs and projects throughout Florida communities during challenging economic times. Funding priorities for the USTA Florida 'Share the Love' initiative include QuickStart Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to QuickStart courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

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 QuickStart Tennis in Florida go to: www.usatennisflorida.usta.com/USTA-Jr-Team-Tennis---New/23757_QuickStart_Home/

 

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