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Miami's Diamond Minds Academy Receives Tennis Grant for Court Repair, 10-and-under Tennis

November 24, 2010 12:34 PM
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Diamond Minds Transformational Leadership Academy, a private school serving lower socio-economic students in Miami, is the latest recipient of a USTA Florida "Share the Love" grant for approximately $2,500 for tennis court pavement repair and equipment for the 10-and-under QuickStart Tennis play format. USTA Florida's Share the Love campaign is a $500,000 initiative on top of the organization's regular annual giving to promote a wide range of community tennis initiatives during difficult economic times for Florida schools and communities.
 
"On behalf of the children, parents and staff at Diamond Minds I would like to express our deepest gratitude and excitement with being awarded the Share the Love grant," said Diamond Minds Transformational Leadership Academy P.E. teacher and coach Tom Rush. "I would also like to thank you for making this a viable option and opportunity for programs like ours and for the children. This will make a big impact on their lives and ultimately on the future of tennis as well." 
 
The 10-and-under QuickStart Tennis play format is designed for 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 the 10-and-under QuickStart Tennis play format in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.
 
"Part of the grant funding will be for painting 10-and-under QuickStart Play Format court lines on their blacktop, to be used with the smaller QuickStart nets," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Miami area, Cathy Nordlund. "They are being very creative in finding way for these kids to play tennis without needing a standard-sized court. They are also part of our 10-and-under league in North Miami."
 
Diamond Minds Transformational Leadership Academy is designed to "ensure that each child receives a holistic education which nurtures their physical, emotional, intellectual, social, aesthetic and spiritual needs." Despite its private status, the school is populated by students who traditionally receive free and reduced lunch, with scholarships and funding provided by various programs and donations. Diamond Minds serves students from areas such as Miami Gardens, Little Haiti, and Liberty City among others, and plans to expand to provide pre-K through 8th grade education by 2012.
 
USTA Florida annually directs 90% of member dollars back into the community to support tennis programs and projects throughout Florida. Funding priorities for the Share the Love initiative include the 10-and-under QuickStart Tennis play format 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.
 
"We look forward to hearing of the further success with the 10-and-under Tennis program at Diamond Minds Transformational Leadership Academy," 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 QuickStart Tennis in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.
 
For more information on the grant or Diamond Minds Transformational Leadership Academy's tennis program, contact Tom Rush at (305) 623-4438.
 

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