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Orlando's Hebni Nutrition, USTA Florida Team for Unique Tennis/Health Family Program

November 30, 2010 08:37 AM
Roniece Weaver
Dr. Roniece Weaver
A unique family health and tennis program is being launched from a partnership with the United States Tennis Association-Florida (USTA Florida) and Hebni Nutrition Consultants (HNC), Inc., in Orlando schools and community centers. A $25,000 grant from USTA Florida's "Share the Love" initiative will provide funding for the KYDS Take Charge project, an eight-week program consisting of nutrition education, cooking classes, and tennis instruction utilizing the 10-and-under QuickStart play format.

"Hebni provides age-appropriate nutrition education, which encourages participants to eat more fruits, vegetable, fiber, and foods and beverages rich in calcium, increase water consumption, and maintain a healthy weight," said HNC founding partner and Executive Director Dr. Roniece Weaver. "Participants also learn the importance of daily exercise and receive weekly tennis lessons provided free of charge. The parent component consists of six classes that teach parents how to read food labels, shop for healthy foods on a limited budget, and incorporate family fitness activities."

The 10-and-under QuickStart Tennis play format is designed for children age 10-and-under, older beginning players and senior tennis players, featuring smaller court sizes, racquet sizes, foam and decompressed balls, a simple scoring system, and net heights adjusted to ease kids into the sport. Similar mini-tennis formats have long been popular in Europe, where current stars such as Roger Federer, Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters first learned the game with age-adjusted racquets, balls and court sizes. To see a video of the 10-and-under QuickStart Tennis play format in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

The KYDS program will be held two-days per week at multiple Orlando sites, with proposed expansion including an additional six elementary and middle schools, and community centers encompassing approximately 500 youth. KYDS program partners include the City of Orlando's After-School All-Stars, City of Orlando's Families, the Orlando Parks & Recreation Department, Nap Ford Community School, the University of Central Florida's Rosen College of Hospitality Management, PTR-certified Director of Tennis Programs Kevin Barnes, and Orange County Public Schools.

Weaver's resume, in addition to founding Hebni Nutrition Consultants, includes developing the original "Soul Food Pyramid," a culturally-sensitive food guide pyramid, and serving as a member of the national-level American Diabetes Association Cultural Diversity Committee, which meets in Washington, DC. She is also the author of "The New Soul Food Cookbook for People With Diabetes," and her book "Slim Down Sister" is designed to assist women with feeling good and losing weight. She has also published "Month of Meals" and "Soul Food Family Style" in partnership with the American Diabetes Association.

Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc., is a community-based non-profit organization committed to improving consumer health by providing comprehensive nutrition information. USTA Florida's Share the Love campaign is a $500,000 initiative on top of the organization's regular annual giving to promote a wide range of community initiatives.

USTA Florida annually directs 90% of member dollars back into the community to support tennis programs and projects throughout Florida. USTA Florida's 'Share the Love' grant program helps fund tennis programs and projects throughout Florida communities during challenging economic times. Funding priorities include 10-and-under Tennis and Jr. Team Tennis (coordinator training, start-up, etc.), public facility funding (schools, parks, conversion to permanent 10-and-under QuickStart play format courts, etc.), community tennis awareness (innovative pro-active start-ups, program expansion), school programs and senior tennis programs/projects.

"Together we can reach our mission, 'To promote and develop the game of tennis in Florida,'" said USTA Florida Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, Andy McFarland. "It's with USTA membership dollars that we are able to offer program grants to communities like these."

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 10-and-under tennis utilizing the QuickStart Tennis play format in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.






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