tsts

Adult Leagues Adult Tournaments Junior Tournaments Jr. Team Tennis Learn more
.
 

UCF Club Tennis Gives Back to Community, Local Kids at Sanlando

December 11, 2012 04:21 PM
UCF-volunteers-web
A group of UCF volunteers at the 10 and Under Tennis Play Day
College tennis clubs that participate in the USTA Tennis on Campus circuit annually do fundraising to pay for the costs of travelling to tournaments, or other funding needs. The University of Central Florida hosts its Knightro Cup tournament at Sanlando Park Tennis Center in Altamonte Springs, but this year did not have sufficient funds to cover court fees.
 
"In order for UCF to host the Knightro Cup, they had to get creative," said former Florida Tennis on Campus organizer Michelle Brown. "The club is lucky that it happens to be near a 10 and Under Tennis target market."
 
The Orlando area, the recipient of a $100,000 grant from the USTA to boost 10 and Under Tennis participation two years ago, now has a booming youth tennis base. This past November the park held a 10 and Under Tennis Play Day, where beginning children received a fun introduction to the game of tennis, and more experienced children played on 60-foot courts with age-appropriate racquets and lower-bouncing balls.
 
The UCF Tennis Club brought 36 student volunteers to the event to assist with everything from set up to registration, helping the teaching pros on court and breaking everything down after the event.
 
"I was excited to see that this year brought out more kids than the year before," said club Treasurer Desirae McLaughlin, who also volunteered in 2011. "The aspect I liked the most was the instant success that the kids were able to see. Learning how to play tennis when I was nine years old [with adult equipment] was a very frustrating time. I could be fed a whole basket of balls and only end up hitting a few. At the Sanlando event most of the kids were hitting every ball that was feed to them."
 
McLaughlin says giving back to the community is not only a tenant of the UCF Tennis Club, but of the university as a whole.
 
"UCF stands for opportunity, and the members of the club team have been given the opportunity to compete around the country playing the sport they love," she says. "If we can have a hand in making the same opportunity happen for a child in the UCF community, we will."
 
Orlando is seeing more small children playing tennis as a 10 and Under Tennis target market grant recipient, providing a pathway from 10 and Under Tennis to USTA Jr. Team Tennis, middle school and high school play, onto college, USTA Tennis on Campus, and into adult league/tournament play. The primary effort is to boost the number of players age 10 and under, where the U.S. trails many of the larger developed countries around the world.
 
"Tennis is not a sport that most young kids think to play, so when the chance comes to open their eyes to a sport as amazing as tennis, without question I take it," McLaughlin said. "We are able to show the kids that this is how good they could become one day."
 
Helping with set up, registration, and the popcorn and snow cone machines were Desirae McLaughlin, A.J. Schuyler, Kristina Lebron, Gerardo Valenzuela, Zachary Higgins, Carly Trageser, Mackenzie Kessler, Tori Pettofrezzo, Danielle Benson, Alexa Aubin, Leonard Lopez, Michael Broderick, Sarah Menken, and Kerry Mawn.
 
Schuyler, the club president, also this month received the Tennis On Campus Coordinator of the Year award at the USTA Florida Annual Meeting, where the state's top volunteers are awarded.
 
Assisting teaching pros on court with their groups and the festival breakdown were Allie Gordon, Katie Pfeil, Jessie McAlister, Chris Gregg, Rafael Peralta, Anu Gupta, Alec McCliamans, Maria Contreras, David Porras, Brock Jacobi, Stefan Levine, Marie Woodson, and James Rock.
 
"Their enthusiasm and high energy brings a spark to the festivities and provides great interaction with the participants," said Sanlando Park Supervisor Cindy Harkins. "They play tennis because they love it, and their passion transfers to those they work with. This is truly a remarkable partnership with USTA Florida and our local college students."
 
For more information on the Tennis on Campus program go to www.tennisoncampus.com.
 
 
 
 
 

Back

 

 

 

Print Article Email Article Newsletter Signup Share
 

tsts

tsts

 
AAA_Right_Rail
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Close