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Florida 'Me Gusta El Tenis' Family Hispanic Events; Win 2013 Miami/Delray Tickets

July 20, 2012 08:38 AM
USTA Florida's four-stop 'Me Gusta El Tenis' tour will hit Greater Orlando and Greater Miami-area cities in August-November of 2012, spotlighting the popularity of tennis in the Hispanic community in Central and South Florida. Hispanic communities can celebrate families playing tennis together at the four events, which will feature the 10 and Under Tennis short court format for learning the game.

Areas for tennis play will be set up and highlighted during events at:

Aug. 18 -- Feria de la Famila with Telemundo, Kissimmee; Click here to register.
Sept. 15 -- MG Tennis & City of Kissimmee Parks & Recreation Tennis Festival, Oak Street Park, Kissimmee; Click here to register.
Oct. 20 -- Gables Hispanic Festival, Coral Gables; Click here to register.
Nov. 11 -- Founders Day Festival, Aventura; Click here to register.

For all events, participants registering at the web addresses above will be entered into a drawing to win four tickets of their choice to either the 2013 Sony Open men's and women's pro tennis tournament on Key Biscayne, or the 2013 Delray Beach International Tennis Championships men's pro event in Delray Beach.

The Gables Hispanic Festival is organized by the Gables Hispanic Cultural Foundation, a not-for-profit organization for charitable and educational purposes, including the undertaking of programs and activities designed to enhance the cultural Heritage and social well-being of families, children and youth of Miami-Dade County.

"We are looking forward to reaching out to the roughly 70% of Florida Hispanic players that are in the Miami area," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Miami area Cathy Nordlund. "Area pros will be out at the events, where parents can ask questions about local programing for kids and adults, and families can play the 10 and Under Tennis format together."

Tennis participation numbers in Florida for small children of all demographics have increased exponentially since the introduction of the 10 and Under Tennis format. 10 and Under Tennis 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 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.com.

"Through our continued partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Orlando, USTA Florida has continued to see growth in our youth programs as well as adult league play in Central Florida," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for Central Florida Shelly Licorish, who is organizing USTA Florida participation in the Feria de la Famila with Telemundo, and MG Tennis/City of Kissimmee events.

The mission of La Feria de la Familia is to address the needs of Central Florida Hispanics in an interactive and entertaining family environment. La Feria was created to serve as a unique vehicle that brings consumers a family day of information, resources and products readily available to them in the Central Florida area. Since 2005, La Feria has welcomed over 130,000 attendees and hosted hundreds of local and national companies. 

For more information on USTA Florida Hispanic community events, go to USTA Florida's Spanish language website at www.ustaflorida.com/espanol. For specific information regarding Miami-area events contact Cathy Nordlund at nordlund@florida.usta.com, and for information on Central Florida events contact Shelly Licorish at licorish@florida.usta.com.

JPAT Puts 10 and Under Tennis Tournaments Under Microscope

10andunderlogo_stack_4c-201USTA Florida has convened a Junior Play Action Team (JPAT), comprised of USTA Florida volunteers, tournament organizers, and USTA Florida staff to take a close look at how 10 and Under Tennis tournaments are being delivered, and how the tournament structure can better fit in the lives of modern parents and families.

"The JPAT was put together to take a close look at how we deliver 10 and Under Tennis tournaments to our players, parents, and coaches," said USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth. "The first question asked was, 'In today's world with many households that have both parents working, less disposable income, tough economy, etc., does it still make sense to have full day, two day, and even three-day traditional elimination tournaments for all the new players coming into tennis with our 10 and Under Tennis initiatives?' The overwhelming answer from the group was 'No!'"

The Junior Play Action Team is comprised of Dave Brown, Henner Lenhardt, Susie Rahimitabar, Molly Schwartz, Lew Wolfe, Ann Brown, Michelle Brown, Rebecca Halpern, Andy McFarland, Cindy Harkins and Booth.

In May the team began working in four sub-groups to address: 1) Formats; Red, Orange, Red, Green & Yellow; Scheduling; Scoring; Officials; Pricing; Earned Advancement; 2) Coaching and Parent Education; 3) Registration; and 4) Reward, Awards, and How to Make Them Events.

"The team has also looked at having events in older age divisions that better meet the needs of our players and parents also," Booth said.

The JPAT will develop a plan to change how USTA Florida delivers 10 and Under Tennis tournaments beginning in early 2013.





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