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Tennis Briefs(7): Upcoming Events, Regional Florida Columnists

May 16, 2013 01:20 PM

New Port Richey to Host USTA Kid's Tennis Play Day

 
Play DaysThe New Port Richey Recreation Center will host a USTA Play Day for children of all ages on May 25, 2013, from 1-4 p.m.
 
The Play Day will feature prizes, music, games and more. The cost for the event is $5 for USTA members and $10 for non-USTA members.
 
USTA Play Days provide kids and parents of all skill levels with the opportunity to experience tennis in a social and fun setting. The events are open to the public with an emphasis placed on family participation, effort and sportsmanship. Information will also be available on 10 and Under Tennis, Jr. Team Tennis leagues, other local play opportunities, and special free USTA memberships for qualifying participants.
 
The event will feature the 10 and Under Tennis format, which allows smaller children to emulate adult play 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 current stars such as Roger Federer first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes. For more advanced players the event will feature full-court play.
 
The New Port Richey Recreation Center is located at 6630 Van Buren St, New Port Richey, Fla., 34653, phone: (727) 841-4560.
 
To register for the event or for more information contact Christina Hill at (727) 375-7678 or e-mail Chill.tennis@gmail.com. For additional event information visit the Florida Region 3 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USTAFloridaRegion3/events.
 
 

Plant City to Host Free USTA Tennis Festival

 
mediawall-tennis-festivalsThe Plant City Tennis Center in Plant City, Fla., will host a free Family Tennis Festival on May 22, 2013, from 5:30-7 p.m. Tennis Festivals are designed to welcome whole families to play tennis at all skill levels. Parents and children are encouraged to participate and experience first-hand the way in which tennis is now sized right for their child's age and ability.
 
For children age 10 and under the event will feature 10 and Under Tennis, the right-sized equipment for kids age 10 and under, utilizing smaller, lighter racquets and softer, lower-bouncing balls, and kid-sized nets and court sizes. 10 and Under Tennis is creating a whole new generation of players in the U.S., introducing kids to tennis in a fun format rather than with the frustration of regular tennis balls that bounce over their heads, heavy adult-sized racquets and too much court for little legs to cover.
 
There will also be information available on local Jr. Team Tennis opportunities. JTT brings kids together in teams to play singles, doubles and mixed doubles against other teams. It promotes social skills and important values by fostering cooperation and unity, as well as individual self-growth. It is designed for kids ages 5-18, and matches can be held anywhere from a local park or school to a commercial or private club. JTT teams are co-ed and divided by the play levels beginner, intermediate and advanced, and utilize the 10 and Under Tennis format for the 10-U and 8-U leagues.
 
The Plant City Tennis Center is located at 120 N. Wilder Rd., Plant City, Fla., 33563; phone: (813) 707-7485.
 
To register for the event or for more information contact Shane Johnson at sjohnson@plantcitygov.com. For additional event information visit the Florida Region 3 Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USTAFloridaRegion3/events.
 
 

Tennis4Cancer Doubles Fundraiser June 28 in Jacksonville

 
tennis-4-cancer-logo_webEagle Harbor Country Club on Fleming Island, right outside of Jacksonville, Fla., has once again pledged its support to fight cancer by playing host to the third annual Tennis4Cancer Men’s and Women’s Doubles Championships, June 28-30, 2013. 
 
The tournament is put on by Eagle Harbor residents and volunteers and attracts players from around the Northeast Florida area. This year’s tournament will once again benefit the American Cancer Society of Orange Park and the Rotary Club of Orange Park Sunrise Charities. The tournament has donated over $23,000 to these two charities over the last two years.
 
Entry into the tournament is open to all USTA members.  Registration must be done via the tournaments website at www.tennis4cancer.org.  The cost of entry is $65 per player before June 1, and $75 after June 1 with no refunds.
 
The event will feature player gifts, prizes, raffle drawings, food, drinks, and a player party. The tournament is currently accepting corporate sponsorships and court dedications.  Information and sponsorship forms can be found on the tournament website.
 
For additional information, contact James Ellisor, tournament chairman at (904) 318-0382 or e-mail ellisor3@comcast.net.
 
 

Florida Region 1-West Tennis Notes

by Scott Harrison, USTA Florida Region 1-West (Panhandle) Columnist
 
Pensacola's Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Tournament Raises $80K
 
region_1W-Allys_Pink_Ribbon_Painting
Ally Hunt's original painting for the Pink Ribbon Tournament
The 11th Annual Pink Ribbon Tennis Tournament raised more than $80,000 to aid Pensacola-area women with low or no insurance to obtain mammograms. The tournament, which was held April 18-20, 2013 at Roger Scott Tennis Center in Pensacola, featured two full 64 compass draws.
 
Despite the rain washout on Friday, the whole tournament was completed. Matches were 8-game pro sets with all teams getting at least four matches. A massive silent auction tent along with a Thursday evening Calcutta event contributed to the fund raising.
 
For pictures and complete details of the tourney, go to http://pinkribbontennis.com.
 
294 Players in the 30th Annual Helen Drake Adult Designated at Tops'L
 
The 30th Annual Helen Drake Adult Designated Tournament drew 294 players to beautiful Tops'L Beach & Racquet Resort in Miramar Beach on April 17-21, 2013. Although rain played havoc with the biggest day of the tournament on Friday, the weather turned nice on Saturday and Sunday and all divisions were completed.
 
As seems to be the case each year, new faces provided terrific tennis. In the Men's 40 division Johan Svensson from Lakeland, Tenn., took top honors. In the Men's 50s, Ocala's Craig Cannon made his first appearance and won the division. Two first timers in the Women's 40s made the finals -- Jenny Merrill of Birmingham, Ala., defeated Brenda Sturm of St. Petersburg in a wonderful match.
 
The party with music from Pensacola's James Adkins had to be moved indoors but everyone still had a good time. For complete results go to http://tennislink.usta.com/TOURNAMENTS/TournamentHome/Tournament.aspx?T=127523.
 
3 Teams and 7 Individuals from Region 1-West Qualify for 2013 High School State Tournament
 
Pensacola Catholic boys’ and girls’ teams, along with Panama City Arnold's girls’ team, qualified for the 2013 Florida State High School Tennis Championships at the end of April and into May. Four Pensacola Washington players made the Individual State Championships: Reece Acree and Elizabeth Bothwell in singles, and Acree, Bothwell, Austin Racine and Rebecca Hendrick in doubles.
 
Niceville's P.J. Shaw made the individual singles along with Arnold's Davis Meeks. Arnold's Tyler Goodson joined Meeks in the Individual doubles. Acree and Racine made the finals, losing 6-3, 6-2 to the top-seeded team from Gulf Coast. Bothwell and Hendrick won a round then lost a 14-11 in the third-set breaker. Meeks and Goodson lost their first match 14-12 in the third-set breaker.
 
The Panama City Arnold girls’ team finished in a tie for 5th place in the 2A Division. Team members that played included Bianca and Carla Biglione, Emma Moskowitz, Kristen Sleeth and Savannah Schaler.
 
The Pensacola Catholic teams played in the 1A Division. The boys team tied for sixth place and included Chris Ephron, Danny Sullivan, Casey Lowery, Clark Campion and Phil Masterson. The Girls team tied for 3rd place and included Lucy McLaurin, Kallie Erickson, Sophie Goyins, Megan Wuthrich and Katie Chastain.
 
Congratulations to all the Region 1 West high school players that made the state tournament.
 
 

Region 3 Players Score Big for Sydney; Pro Event News

by Nancy Morgan, USTA Florida Region 3 (Sun & Nature Coast) Columnist
 
region_3-Ws_4.0_Winners
Avila Tennis Director Roger Cypriano with 4.0 winners Trish Frost and Lisa Ross, and Wesley Chapel Toyota/Honda sponsor David Williams
A perfect weekend of weather resulted in another outstanding charity tennis tournament at Avila Country Club in Tampa. Last month the 21st Avila Charity Tennis Tournament raised $100,000 for Sydney's Academy, a non-profit educational school for children with autism and related disabilities.
 
Avila tennis director Roger Cypriano spearheaded the weekend of tennis action.
 
"We started Saturday and Sunday at 8 a.m. and finished after 7:30 p.m. both days," Cypriano said. "There were eight divisions for 136 players -- there was a record 79 matches played in two days on our six courts." 
             
Winners include Lisa Haidermota and Joan Simmons (women's 4.5), Trish Frost and Lisa Ross (4.0), Lynda Velovick and Tania Kerkman (3.5), Kent Wright and Ashley Fisher (men's open), Brandon Muth and David Robbins (5.0), Jeff Ralph and Frankie Hennessey (4.5), Aaron Medvick and John Knierman (4.0) and Paul Caplan and Julian Harja (3.5).
 
In addition to the tennis competition, players were treated to breakfast and lunch each day, along with an evening player party combined with a silent auction. Prior to the competition, sponsors -- 160 in all led by third-year title sponsor Wesley Chapel Toyota/Honda -- enjoyed a special evening of dinner and an auction that raised nearly $30,000!  
 
"This is our first event done in multiple years, and I can see a following developing," said Kathy Swenson, founder of Sydney's Academy in 2005. "This year I'm positive we made more than last year, and that will help us move forward with some additional projects. We'll be able to purchase a SMART Board for every classroom and there's a possibility of sharing a facility in another location so we can be in both South and North Tampa."  
 
Overall, Avila Country Club's annual charity tennis tournaments have raised over $850,000, all of which has been donated to local charities in Tampa that focus on children. AMI Kids Tampa, an alternative educational program for troubled teens in Hillsborough County, will be the benefactor of the 2014 Avila Charity Tennis Tournament.
 
Men's Professional Tennis Coming to Area
 
Harbour Island Athletic Club in Tampa will host a USTA $10,000 Men's Pro Circuit Futures Tournament this month, followed by Innisbrook Spa and Resort in Palm Harbor holding a $10,000 event beginning June 3. Details on the tournaments can be found at www.usta.com.
 
 

Central Florida Hosts First-ever 10 and Under Team Tennis Challenge

By Susie Rahimitabar, USTA Florida Region 4 (Central Florida) Columnist
 
region_4
Left to right in back: Court monitor Sean Fullerton, captain Scott Dabney; front: Emma Gomez, Larissa Martins, Landon Dabney and Ryan Fullerton of Lake Cane Futures 8s
The USTA 10 and Under program has been going through some changes. In order to involve more teams and players, the Team Tennis Challenge has been formed to welcome players from around the region without the restriction that they need to participate in Jr. Team Tennis, or even be USTA members (though being members offers a large discount to the entry fee; non-members pay $30 while USTA members pay $20 per player). 
 
Molly Zimmer, the tennis program coordinator for Region 4-East, recruited for teams in the 6-8 and 8-10 age divisions from around Region 4. The event was scheduled for May 4, 2013 at Airport Road Park in Port Orange, but inclement weather forced the event to May 5. The USTA Florida office did an excellent job of informing players and parents of the change in one of the smoothest date switches on record.
 
Zimmer's attention to details and pre-planning was a key to the excitement generated. Teams needed to select a team parent/volunteer captain and a court monitor for each team, and that person received very detailed information as to their job/role for the event (which included parent/spectator dos and don'ts).
 
For the Lake Cane teams a practice date was set for the players to get together and rehearse the format which added to the excitement. Team captains motivated their teams -- Heather Barnes, team captain of the Ballerz, and her daughter Aubrey made cute water bottles out of tennis ball sleeves and pink ribbons for the girls’ hair.
 
Alvida Groom, mother of Sophia Groom who participated in the 10s (on the 1st place team Lake Cane Ballerz from Orlando) took photos and said afterwards, "From the minute we got on the road, Sophia couldn't stop talking how excited she was to go so far away from home to compete with her teammates and not against them. Every time they played doubles or singles they had smiles on their faces. Every time they won or lost the point, they knew their teammates were there to support them."
 
For the 8-and-under competition, all participating players received medals of accomplishment.  The teams were photographed in an award ceremony and players beamed as they knew they had played their best for their teams.  Two division winners were awarded trophies in the 10-and-under division and players received participation medals.
 
The team atmosphere has so much energy unlike any other tournament.  Players gathered in their respective team groups with their support teams, with parents, siblings, extended family and friends making it a memorable event. 
 
 
 
 
 

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