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Briefs: World Tennis Day in Florida; New USTA Florida Employees

March 12, 2013 08:34 AM
World Tennis Day Celebrated with Kids, Parents in Pembroke Pines, Fla.
 
Granitto_World_Tennis_DayAs part of the World Tennis Day celebration on March 4, GTC Tennis Consultancy in Pembroke Pines, Fla., organized a play day on March 2 as part of its GTC 16 & Under Florida Tennis Initiative, featuring round robin play for kids, and a parent orientation regarding the USTA 10 and Under Tennis format.
 
The event was attended by 27 children and 12 parents, some of who took part in a Round Robin Pro-Parents tournament.
 
"This is part of the GTC 16 & Under Florida Tennis Initiative that we have run since 2007," said organizer Gustavo Granitto. "The event included round robin matches with orange and green balls for ages 9-11, reception and projection skill exercises, free tennis lessons for all, and a parents orientation about 10 and Under Tennis concepts."
 
Rather than the traditional kids standing in lines while one child hits a ball, 10 and Under Tennis features kids in almost-constant motion on kids' size courts, or going through various skills stations.
 
"It was fantastic to see many kids playing in different competition stations and learning a lot, all of them at the same time," said Ricardo Martins, GTC coach.
 
Valencian Javi Climent, a former touring pro and training partner of Top 10 Spanish pro David Ferrer, worked with the parents.
 
"I really enjoyed playing with the player's parents in the program," Climent said. "Parent motivation is very important to the support of the kids."
 
The USTA 10 and Under Tennis format allows smaller children to play tennis on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, foam and low-compression balls, a simple scoring system, all adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where stars such as Roger Federer and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes.
 
"I think that it is an advantage from the beginning," said South Florida resident Maria Sharapova regarding the USTA's 10 and Under Tennis initiative. "It is much easier to have the lighter balls, and much easier to have a smaller court and I think it gives them a better sense of the game in a way. Whereas you are coming onto the tennis courts for the first time, and since it is one-on-one sport, it can be quite overwhelming. So for a young player that is trying it out, I think it is a wonderful opportunity."
 
The next GTC event will be open to the community in May. For more information contact info@gtctennis.com.
 
 
USTA Florida Adds 3 New Positions, 4 Employees
 
JG
Jason Gilbert
Romo_Maria_2013
Maria Romo-Jackson
Nsevere
Nicolet Severe
West_Brad_2013
Brad West
In response to greater competitive tennis and event demands, in addition to marketing and diversity service needs, the Florida Section of the United States Tennis Association (USTA Florida) has created three new positions, adding or replacing four new employees total in early 2013.
 
Jason Gilbert will serve the newly-created position of director of competitive tennis beginning in May 2013, working out of USTA Florida headquarters in Daytona Beach. Gilbert, a vice president on the United States Professional Tennis Association-Florida Section (USPTA Florida) board, comes to USTA Florida as the former owner and operator of JPG Tennis in Miami, where for 15 years he managed tennis programs for players of all ages.
 
Gilbert is a national speaker for the Tennis Industry Association's Cardio Tennis program, a USTA High Performance coach, and a member of the USTA Florida Coaches Commission. He will report directly to Executive Director Doug Booth.
 
Two newly-created positions reporting to Director of Marketing and Membership Laura Bowen are diversity and marketing coordinator, and event and sponsorship coordinator.
 
Diversity and Marketing Coordinator Maria Romo-Jackson will bolster the organization's strategic priority to bring tennis to a more diverse audience in Central and South Florida. Born and raised in Bogota, Romo-Jackson was a top-ranked junior player in Colombia, moving to the U.S. at age 18 to further her education, earning an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.
 
Event and Sponsorship Coordinator Nicolet Severe will service the Florida's Section's plan for expanded junior and adult events and sponsorships. Her background includes experience in hospitality, tourism, and event management and marketing. Spending her formative years growing up in Puerto Rico, she earned an MBA with a focus in marketing from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico.
 
Another new face in an already-existing position is Advanced and Social Media Coordinator Brad West. West, a coordinator of websites and social media in the real estate industry and non-profit volunteer environments, has a bachelors in management from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). West will also report to Bowen in the Marketing and Membership division.
 
To read the full bios on all USTA Florida staff, go to www.florida.usta.com/About-Us/STAFF_BIOGRAPHIES/.
 
 
 

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