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Maclay School, Killearn C.C. in Tallahassee Receive USTA Florida Tennis Grants

September 8, 2010 09:52 AM
Corbin Graves (forefront) demonstrates racquet quickness during a drill at a USTA Florida QuickStart Workshop
Killearn Country Club coaches Nathalie Phelps and David Berry
QuickStart Tennis, the new format for 10-and-under children to easily learn and enjoy tennis at a young age, will add two new sites in Tallahassee, Fla., after the Maclay School and Killearn Country Club received grants from the USTA Florida 'Share the Love' campaign for QuickStart equipment and league programming.

Corbin Graves, a Professional Tennis Registry (PTR)-certified instructor and the head tennis coach at Maclay School, attended a regional USTA Florida QuickStart Workshop in August and will offer after-school QuickStart clinics. He also plans to put together teams for a QuickStart Tennis league.

"Corbin has been a tennis professional for 32 years and is offering a new QuickStart league this fall," says USTA Local League Coordinator Sandy Layne. "He has been an advocate of the QuickStart Tennis format in his after-school tennis clinics, and hosting a league is a natural progression. His basic philosophy is to ensure the participants are having fun."

At Killearn Country Club, QuickStart for 10-and-unders will compliment the USTA Jr. Team Tennis league that serves children age 10-18, with beginner, intermediate and advanced divisions. Coach Nathalie Portmann Phelps, a USPTA- and PTR-certified teaching pro at Killearn Country Club, will take the lead in implementing QuickStart Tennis beginning in September.

"As the program grows, we believe having QuickStart at an established Jr. Team Tennis site will serve as a natural feed to the Jr. Team Tennis League, which serves our ultimate goal of growing tennis from the bottom up," Layne said. "An added perk for Killearn Country Club QuickStart players is the optional clinic being offered on Tuesdays for 8-and-under and 10-and-under divisions to further develop our newest USTA League players. Offering both a clinic and league opportunities for QuickStart provides an added incentive for this private club to expand its membership and revenues."

QuickStart Tennis is the new USTA-approved and ITF (International Tennis Federation)-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. 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 QuickStart Tennis in action go to: http://consumers.quickstarttennis.com/.

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.

"Together we can reach our mission, 'To promote and develop the game of tennis in Florida,'" said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland. "It's 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 QuickStart Tennis in Florida CLICK HERE.






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