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Tennis Briefs(3): Special Olympics Grants, Kids Events, More

June 9, 2014 03:05 PM
Special Olympics Florida Tennis Receives $2,900 Grant

special_olympics_floridaThe USTA Florida Section Foundation, the official charitable arm of the USTA Florida Section, has granted Special Olympics Florida $2,900 for modified tennis equipment for Special Olympics athletes at six sites in Florida.

Equipment grants will go to Special Olympics Tennis program sites in Collier County (Naples area), Duval County (Jacksonville), Orange County (Orlando area), Santa Rosa County (Pensacola), Sarasota County (Sarasota), and St. Lucie County (Port St. Lucie area).

USTA_FL_Section_Foundation_logo"Thanks to USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation for their support of our athletes," said Special Olympics Florida Director of Foundation Relations Jessica Flynn. "This adaptive tennis equipment is going to go a long way."

In February of this year, USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation announced a partnership agreement with Special Olympics Florida to provide more tennis play opportunities to athletes in Florida. The formal agreement builds on existing support that USTA Florida and its charitable arm have provided to local Special Olympics programs by offering free Youth Tennis workshops, grants, and other resources to providers that offer tennis programs to Special Olympics athletes.

Likewise, Special Olympics Florida encourages athletes to participate in USTA Florida programs and events.

"We are thrilled to support Special Olympics at the local level," said USTA Florida Section Foundation Executive Director Linda Curtis. "The USTA Youth Tennis modified equipment enables athletes to have more success and more fun on the court."

About the USTA Florida Section Foundation
With a mission of "Changing Lives Through Tennis," The USTA Florida Section Foundation provides financial support that helps Floridians of all ages improve their health and quality of life through the great game of tennis. It is the Foundation's belief that tennis provides opportunities for healthy, social, emotional, physical and educational development and encourages peer and family participation.

For more information visit www.USTAFloridaFoundation.com.


Miami Hosts Parks & Rec. Tennis Play Day

 
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Miami-Dade County Parks & Recreation in partnership with USTA Florida held a Tennis Parks Play Day at the Tamiami Tennis Center in Miami last month, with participating parks including Gould's, Gwen Cherry, North Glade, Leisure Lakes, South Dade and Arcola Lakes. 

"We had more than 60 kids and they all had a great time on the kids-size tennis courts at the Tamiami Tennis Center," said USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator for the Miami area Cathy Nordlund. "Thank you to Friends of Miami Tennis who provided the pizza  for all the kids and the kids-size tennis courts."

Each child received a medal for participation, and information regarding additional Play Days this summer hosted by Miami-Dade County Parks & Recreation.

"They will also be forming teams for those more advanced players, which will be playing bi-monthly matches," Nordlund said. "Miami-Dade County Parks & Recreation has made a great commitment to introducing kids to tennis in the parks, and it is showing with increased programming and participation."

Play Day events introduce children to the excitement of tennis competition in a low-pressure setting of organized play, with rotation of opponents and short continuous matches over a two- to three-hour period using USTA Youth Tennis equipment. 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.

For more info on tennis programming in Miami go to http://friendsofmiamitennis.com. For information on Play Day events throughout Florida go to www.youthtennisflorida.com.


Deadline Approaching for Miami Kids 10-Under Team Tennis Challenge in June

JTT-Sun-2Kids love playing on teams, from junior team tennis to middle school tennis to high school. Now the new USTA Florida Regional Team Tennis Challenge is bringing recreational team play events to Miami-area children.

A USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenge for 10-under players, presented by Wilson Racquet Sports, will be hosted by the Tamiami Tennis Center in Miami, Fla., on Saturday, June 28, 2014.
 
The one-day tournament will host gender-blind teams of no more than six players per team. Players must be age 10 or under to compete, with "orange ball" and "red ball" divisions.
 
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.
 
These "BYOT" (bring your own team) events do not require previous team tennis league participation. Both USTA members and non-members can participate, with USTA members receiving a $10 discount on registration. Team registration closes on June 23, 2014. To register go to www.ustaflorida.com/teamtennischallenges.
 
For more information or to register go to www.ustaflorida.com/teamtennischallenges.

 
 

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