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Mardy Fish Foundation Expanding Reach, Hosts USTA 10 and Under Tennis Workshop

November 6, 2014 12:41 PM
USTA Florida and the Mardy Fish Children's Foundation teamed in late October to host a 10 and Under Tennis Workshop training for staff and volunteers at The Boulevard Tennis Club in Vero Beach, Fla.

The Mardy Fish Children's Foundation flagship program, Kids on Courts, is now available to all K-8th grade students of the Indian River Country School District. As of November 2014, Kids on Courts boasts offerings at 13 elementary schools countywide, along with one private school and one charter school. In addition the foundation funds and facilitates Middle School Club Teams to four middle schools.

"It has been important to grow at a healthy rate," says Kids on Courts Director of Tennis, Alison Mays, who notes the organization has added 2-4 schools each year since 2008. "We know some schools have been waiting longer than others to offer this program. We are thrilled to finally provide this program to all schools."

The USTA Youth Tennis format allows smaller children to emulate adult play on smaller court sizes, with racquet sizes that fit their hands, low-compression low-bouncing 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.

"As well as school-based programs, the organization has been a participant in Junior Team Tennis, and we hope to get them more involved with Kids' Tennis Clubs," said USTA Florida volunteer and national school trainer Susan Allshouse. "Alison wished to host a 10 and Under Tennis Workshop at their home base to provide training to their staff and also to encourage others in the area to learn more about the format and provide opportunities for instruction and recreational play. This was an open workshop available to all from the USTA, USTA Florida, USPTA and PTR websites."

The Coach Youth Tennis website now serves as a prerequisite to becoming a certified teaching professional by the PTR or the USPTA. Coach Youth Tennis has been developed in partnership between the Professional Tennis Registry, the United States Professional Tennis Association, the United States Olympic Committee and the United States Tennis Association. The program consists of six on-line courses and a 10 and Under Tennis Workshop.

For more info go to http://coachyouthtennis.com and click on the "workshops" tab and filter by state.

Mardy Fish, a former Top 10-ranked ATP player, is dedicated to supporting the youth in his hometown of Vero Beach, Fla. Started in 2007, the non-profit Mardy Fish Children's Foundation currently supports more than 2,100 children in 13 elementary schools and four middle schools in Indian River County, Fla., by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives.

For more information on the Mardy Fish Children's Foundation visit www.mffkids.org.






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