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Tallahassee's Killearn Racquet Club Receives QuickStart Tennis Grant

November 12, 2010 09:30 AM
John Vinson
Killearn Lakes Racquet & Swim Club in Tallahassee will provide QuickStart Tennis to 10-and-under family members, and area elementary school and pre-school children following a grant for QuickStart Tennis equipment from USTA Florida. The grant is through USTA Florida's 'Share the Love' campaign, a $500,000 initiative on top of the organization's regular annual giving to promote 10-and-under tennis as well as a wide range of other community initiatives.

Killearn Lakes Racquet and Swim Club is family owned and operated by John and Kim Vinson, and John has a lengthy history in Florida junior and college tennis. Among other distinctions he was ranked Top 10 nationally in 18-and-under doubles playing out of Tallahassee, he played collegiately for Wake Forest University, and was assistant coach for the Florida State University men's team.

"This will allow current beginning- and intermediate-level students a chance to start competing without feeling overwhelmed by full-court tennis," said John Vinson of the child-scaled QuickStart Tennis equipment. "The racquets, balls and other equipment provided by USTA Florida , combined with a well-run Quickstart program will be the stepping stone to a lifelong love affair with tennis for many of these kids."

The central location of the Killearn Lakes Racquet and Swim Club will also be advantageous for area children.

"The proximity of our club to a nearby elementary school and preschool will provide a wonderful opportunity for any kids wanting to be introduced to the game of tennis," Vinson said.

QuickStart Tennis 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 QuickStart Tennis in action go to: http://10andundertennis.usta.com.

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 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.

"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 QuickStart Tennis in Florida, go to www.ustaflorida.com.

The John Vinson Quickstart program will begin in January 2011 as soon as school resumes after the winter break.  John can be reached at johnvinsontennis@gmail.com, or by phone at (850) 524-7430.






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