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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): 400 2nd Graders Play 10-U Tennis; Adult Inactivity Increasing

April 30, 2012 09:22 AM
Four Elem. Schools Experience 10-U Tennis During Tallahassee Challenger

Left to right: W.T. Moore Assistant Principal Kerri Anderson; George English, USTA Florida tennis program coordinator; Karen Vogter, Tallahassee Tennis Challenger tournament director; and Shirley Paul, W.T. Moore P.E. teacher
Second graders in action at the Tallahassee Challenger at Forestmeadows
10 and Under Tennis equipment ready for play in P.E. at
W.T. Moore Elementary School
For the fifth consecutive year, the Tallahassee Challenger Tennis Tournament, a USTA Pro Circuit event, brought second grade classes from four local elementary schools to the City of Tallahassee's Forestmeadows Tennis Complex on April 3-4, 2012, to learn and play 10 and Under Tennis.   

"For many of these children, this was their first time playing tennis," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Tallahassee area, George English. "This year more than 400 second graders came from DeSoto Trails, Ruediger, Canopy Oaks, and W.T. Moore Elementary Schools. Anne Davis, a USTA national trainer, led a group of 23 volunteers to help out. The children had a wonderful time playing tennis, and most of the schools stayed over to watch some of the professional matches being played."

In addition to the many local volunteers needed to run the event, also on hand were USTA Florida and USTA national staff.

The tournament donated $400 in 10 and Under Tennis equipment to each of the schools so that children could play tennis in their physical education classes, setting up portable nets indoors or outdoors. USTA Florida funded the transportation costs to and from the tournament for each of the four schools.

"This is one of many ways in which USTA membership dollars are used to promote and grow the game of tennis," English said.

Tennis Helping Child Inactivity Decline, but Adults Increase in Study

Efforts to engage children in physical activities and sports -- including tennis -- are starting to have an effect on America's youngest generation, according to a new study released by the Physical Activity Council (PAC), a partnership of major trade associations in the sports, fitness and leisure industries.

"Inactivity among children ages 6 to 12 declined slightly from 4.6 million youngsters in 2010 to 4.5 million in 2011; inactivity among ages 13 to 17 remained fairly flat," said the Tennis Industry Association (TIA) in a release. "While figures specific to tennis are unavailable at this time, promotions for 10 and Under Tennis, which uses equipment and courts sized for kids, together with a push for tennis in school physical education programs, may be helping to keep youngsters active. A big consumer push for 10 and Under Tennis, which includes a partnership with the Nickelodeon TV network, was launched in February and will continue through 2012."

Adults age 18 and older not participating in any of the 119 physical activities measured continued to increase, from 58.7 million in 2010 to 60 million in 2011. The research is part of the 2012 Participation Report, an annual study tracking sports, fitness and recreation participation in the U.S.

The study shows that 68.1 million Americans ages 6 and older, or 23.9 percent of the U.S. population, were completely inactive in 2011, an increase of 1.1 million from 2010.

The core participation of racquet sport players increased 1 percent. The racquet sports category was the only one to see an increase in the core participation rate. Tennis remains the only traditional sport to have a positive growth rate overall from 2000 to 2011.

Florida is No. 7 on the list of states with the highest inactivity rate.

In efforts to reverse the increases in obesity and inactive Americans, the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) has been leading the way in supporting and promoting two important pieces of legislation: the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) and the Personal Health Investment Today Act (PHIT). The PEP bill is a federal grant program that, since 2001, has provided nearly $800 million in funding to local school districts and community-based organizations to provide quality physical education. The PHIT Act would make physical activity more affordable by allowing Americans to deduct or be reimbursed with pre-tax dollars for expenses related to physical activities, such as health club costs, sports equipment, even tennis fees. For more on these initiatives, visit www.sgma.com.

The Physical Activity Council is made up of the SGMA, National Golf Foundation, Snowsports Industries America, Outdoor Foundation, Tennis Industry Association, the United States Tennis Association (USTA), and the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association.

To read the full story go to www.tennisindustry.org/news/post.cfm/pacparticipationreport.

Vero Beach Hosts USTA Pro Circuit Men's Event This Week

usta pro circuit logo-collageThe Boulevard Village and Tennis Club in Vero Beach hosts the SorensenRealEstate.com Tennis Classic from April 27 to May 6, 2012. This is the 18th year of this USTA Pro Circuit Men's Futures event, and it is the largest and only USTA professional tennis event hosted in Vero Beach, Fla.

The event in the past has attracted top professional players such as former world No. 4 Tim Henman, Olympic gold medalist Nicolas Massu, and Vero Beach's own Mardy Fish.

The field for the USTA Pro Circuit event in Vero Beach will feature a qualifying draw of 128 players, who are attempting to play in the main draw of 32. The qualifying tournament, which began April 27, will determine eight entries into the main field. Players ranked as high as No. 300-500 in the world typically compete in the nine-day event. 

The title sponsor of this year's tournament is Dale Sorensen Real Estate, and the tournament will benefit the Mardy Fish Foundation. For ticket or sponsorship information, please contact Tournament Director Mike Rahaley at (772)-231-6289 or GoFish10s@aol.com, or visit www.theblvdtennisclassic.com.






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