College tennis clubs in the United States Tennis Association's Florida Section (USTA Florida) participate in the Florida circuit of tournaments across the state, but they also meet regularly, host social events, and sometimes just generally hang out. They also have to abide by the rules of their campus club council, which at many campuses require clubs to give back to the local community.
The University of Central Florida (UCF) Tennis Club is an organization that revels in giving back to the Orlando community with their 100-plus club membership. Earlier this year the UCF team showed up en mass at a USTA Florida 10 and Under Tennis PlayDay held at Sanlando Park in Altamonte Springs, just outside of Orlando, rallying 30 club members to help with on-court coaching, running drill stations and more.
Samantha Seto is a senior and a four-year veteran of the UCF club team, this season serving as the club event coordinator.
"It was fun, they had the 10 and Under Tennis set-up with the little nets, and we had a couple hundred kids there playing," Seto said. "We try to get involved in community events -- as a club we're expected to get involved in events, and as a tennis club we wanted to get involved in events that are geared toward tennis, and try to get the word out there and get more kids to play tennis. I love tennis, I've loved tennis since I was five, so hopefully it works to give them a love for the game."
The UCF Sport Clubs Council requires sports clubs that receive funding from the university to take part in two community events per semester, and raise funds in excess of what they are granted by the council.
"We try to do more community events, since two per semester is not a lot," Seto said. "We have food drives, on-campus tennis clinics, and for fundraising we do things like car washes and letter drives. We have to raise 150 percent of funding we're given by the club council."
The Altamonte Springs event was a happy surprise for USTA Florida Team Tennis Coordinator Michelle Brown, who oversees the USTA Tennis on Campus circuit of events in Florida.
"I was very happy to hear that Sanlando benefits from UCF's large club team," Brown said. "It always amazes me how much the Tennis on Campus clubs give back to their community. It is so great for Seminole County, which last year received a $100,000 grant to grow 10 and Under Tennis, to have a large Tennis on Campus club in its area. It's a great partnership."
A great partnership which results from a great "family," according to Seto.
"I know that's really corny, but at our practices we push each other, to be more close to each other," Seto said. "If you ask any of us they'd say 'He's like my brother,' because honestly, since we practice so much, we're around each other all the time.
"We are like an extended family, because I'm with them more than like my sister sometimes," she laughed. "So it's fun."
USTA Florida's Tennis on Campus club tennis program is open to any college or university, and features teams comprised of male and female players in men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles, utilizing the World TeamTennis scoring concept. For more information on Tennis on Campus in Florida go to www.florida.usta.com/College-Tennis-Pages/23473_Tennis_on_Campus
Florida Registration Open for US Open Playoffs Qualifying Tennis Tournament
Registration for all 13 US Open National Playoffs Sectional Qualifying Tournaments opened Thursday, March 15. Players age 14 and older can register for singles competition and/or mixed doubles.
The registration deadline for the Florida event, to be held at the Henry H. McMullen Tennis Complex in Clearwater, Fla., on May 26-30, 2012, is May 16.
The US Open National Playoffs presented by www.playtennis.com
returns for a third year as a series of sectional qualifying tournaments, held in 13 of the 17 USTA Sections throughout the country. The 13 men's, women's and mixed doubles champions from each sectional qualifying tournament will advance to the US Open National Playoffs -- Men's Singles, Women's Singles and Mixed Doubles Championship. All three tournaments will be held in conjunction with the New Haven Open at Yale presented by First Niagara, an Emirates Airline US Open Series event.
The US Open National Playoffs -- Men's Singles and Women's Singles Championship will be held Aug. 17-20. The US Open National Playoffs -- Mixed Doubles Championship will be held Aug. 22-25.
The US Open National Playoffs men's and women's singles champions earn a wildcard into the US Open Qualifying Tournament, held the week prior to the US Open. The US Open National Playoffs mixed doubles champions receive a main draw wildcard into the 2012 US Open.
Registration is available at www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs
. The entry fee is $100 for singles and $120 for each mixed doubles team ($60 per player). All players competing must have a current USTA membership valid through Aug. 27, 2012.
"The US Open National Playoffs presented by playtennis.com provide players with such a unique chance to play on one of tennis' biggest stages -- the US Open," said Jeff Ryan, US Open National Playoffs tournament director. "We are excited that registration is kicking off today for all tournaments and expect players of all ages and playing levels to come out and begin their quest to fulfill their tennis dreams."
The draw size at each sectional qualifying tournament will be a maximum of 256 for each singles event and a maximum of 128 teams for mixed doubles. Participants can be of any playing level, from aspiring novice to seasoned professional, giving everyone an equal opportunity to advance.
The USTA created the US Open National Playoffs to expand the footprint of the US Open to cities nationwide by providing the opportunity for all players 14 years of age and older to earn a berth into the US Open. In all, 1,380 players (690 in men's singles, 306 in women's singles, and 384 in mixed doubles) competed in 2011, ranging from experienced professionals to recreational players of all talents and walks of life (including ESPN's Mike Greenberg, who teamed with six-time US Open champion Chris Evert in mixed doubles).
To register or for more information go to www.USOpen.org/NationalPlayoffs