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Niceville (Fla.) Family YMCA Receives USTA QuickStart Tennis Grant for 10-and-Unders

July 22, 2010 11:13 AM
mediawallsharethelovepeThe Niceville Family YMCA in Niceville, Fla., has received a United States Tennis Association-Florida (USTA Florida) "Share the Love" grant to begin a QuickStart Tennis program for 10-and-under children. Richard Kimmons, the director of the Niceville Family YMCA, teamed with USTA Florida Local League Coordinator Cindy Lozier to submit the grant request.

"The YMCA was without funds to purchase the necessary equipment to run a league," Lozier said. "The children in Niceville now have an additional introduction to tennis in their community."

QuickStart Tennis is the USTA-approved format for teaching children age 10-and-under, featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights adjusted to ease kids into the sport.

Kimmons became excited about QuickStart Tennis after attending a regional QuickStart Workshop held at the Ft. Walton Tennis Center.

"We appreciate everything USTA Florida has given us to support the starting of our QuickStart Tennis league in Niceville," Kimmons said.

Kimmons has also solicited the help of parents and area high school students as program volunteers in exchange for community service hours.

"Through coordinated efforts with nearby Northwest Florida State College, Mr. Kimmons was able to reserve tennis courts there in order to conduct a QuickStart league," said Lozier of the 10-and-under league slated to begin in late July.  

Organizers are also working to start a QuickStart league at the nearby Ft. Walton Tennis Center.

"The goal at the Niceville YMCA is to have two teams in the 5-6 year-old QuickStart division, two teams in the 7-8 year-old QuickStart, and two teams in the 10-and-under QuickStart," Lozier said. "We hope to add an 11-12 year-old USTA Jr. Team Tennis division in the fall, and continue to add an age division with each session of play to accommodate returning children as they age up."

USTA Florida's 'Share the Love' campaign is a $500,000 initiative on top of the organization's regular annual giving to help fund tennis programs and projects throughout Florida communities during challenging economic times. Funding priorities for the USTA Florida 'Share the Love' initiative include QuickStart Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to QuickStart courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

Share the Love grant applications are still being accepted by USTA Florida at www.USTASharetheLove.com, or questions can be e-mailed to grants@florida.usta.com.

For more information on QuickStart or USTA Jr. Team Tennis leagues in the Niceville area, contact Cindy Lozier at cllozier@mchsi.com.






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