Two Florida tennis organizations came together to cement a long-standing relationship to grow the game of tennis when the United States Professional Tennis Association-Florida Division (USPTA Florida) and the United States Tennis Association-Florida Section (USTA Florida) signed a formal partnership agreement on Saturday, June 2, 2012, during the USPTA Florida Annual Convention & USTA Florida Semi-Annual Meeting, held jointly at the Club Med-Sandpiper resort in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
In a sport known for its alphabet soup of acronym-ed tennis organizations that are seemingly many times at odds with one another, the partnership between the USPTA Florida Division and USTA Florida Section stands out as unique. The agreement, signed by USPTA Florida Division President Jeff Cohen and USTA Florida Section President Dan Casey, declares "This agreement between our two organizations in the state of Florida will serve as notice to both groups that we are committed to growing the game of tennis together."
For the USPTA Florida Division the agreement includes steps such as supporting and recommending USTA Florida programs to members, having a board position as a director at large on the USTA Florida Board of Directors, and supporting major USTA Florida functions and events, among other steps and initiatives.
"This is long overdue," Cohen said. "It makes complete sense for USPTA Florida and USTA Florida working and growing in the same direction, and trying to achieve the same goal, which is growing the game of tennis. It's a marriage made in heaven. It's unique, and by us signing this agreement, it will hopefully lead to the other divisions and sections following. Florida has taken the lead on this and growing the game."
USTA Florida for its part of the partnership agreement will work to better inform the USPTA Florida membership about opportunities available to individuals, clubs, parks and facilities; continue to sponsor the USPTA Florida Grand Prix Series of tournaments at $3,000 per season; continue to align the May/June board of directors meetings for the two organizations each year in conjunction with the USPTA Florida Convention; include USPTA members on USTA Florida committees and groups; and offer website and media support to spread the message of USPTA Florida's expertise in delivery of the game, among other steps.
"We at USTA Florida are excited about formalizing our agreement with the USPTA Florida Division, which will ultimately prove to be a win-win situation for the two associations," Casey said. "We directly impact each other through the delineated joint efforts, and I commend Bob Pfaender and Jeff Cohen for making this agreement happen, and our mutual boards and staff for being so supportive."
Approved by the boards of both organizations, the 15-step partnership agreement is recognized through December 2014, with an option for two-year renewal based on the new board leadership of both organizations at that time.
ABOUT USPTA FLORIDA
The Florida Division is one of 17 regional divisions of the United States Professional Tennis Association, which was founded in 1927, making it the world's oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals. With more than 15,000 members worldwide, USPTA offers more than 60 professional benefits to its members, including certification and extensive educational opportunities. At the national level approximately 13,500 USPTA members work in the United States, with the rest representing more than 80 countries around the world.
ABOUT USTA FLORIDA
Established in 1949, USTA Florida is a section of the United States Tennis Association. It is a not-for-profit volunteer organization with more than 50,000 members, 1,000 organizational members and a $4.0 million budget. As the official governing body of tennis in Florida, USTA Florida operates from an executive office in Daytona Beach with 27 staff members and more than 600 volunteers throughout the state working towards a mission to promote and develop tennis in Florida. To learn more about USTA Florida visit www.ustaflorida.com
For more information on the USPTA Florida Division go to http://usptadivisions.uspta.com/default.aspx/MenuItemID/1372/MenuGroup/New-USPTA-Divisions.htm