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Tennis Briefs: Maclay Grant, QuickStart 'Miracle,' Mardy's USTA Discount, PTR Symposium, ATP Delray Pre-qualifying, USTA Serves

November 17, 2010 09:57 AM
Children at the Maclay Lower School
Maclay School Offering QuickStart Tennis After USTA Florida 'Share the Love' Grant

Maclay School in Tallahassee was announced in November as the recipient of a "Share the Love" grant from USTA Florida for QuickStart Tennis equipment to instruct 10-and-under students in their Lower School. 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.

The grant will support a new USTA Jr. Team Tennis league using the QuickStart format at Maclay this fall, according to USTA Florida Local League Coordinator Sandy Layne.

"Corbin Graves, PTR tennis professional and head tennis coach for Maclay school is offering a new QuickStart Tennis league this fall," Layne said. "He recently attended the QuickStart Workshop at Golden Eagle Tennis Center, and has been an advocate of the QuickStart Tennis format in his after-school tennis clinics. Hosting a league is a natural progression. Corbin's basic philosophy is that as teachers and coaches, our main job is to ensure the participants are having fun."

QuickStart Tennis is the fun format 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.

Established in 1968, Maclay School offers a college preparatory curriculum for young people from pre-school (ages 3 and 4) through 12th grade. Maclay School is an independent, non-sectarian college preparatory school, "dedicated to providing a liberal arts education, enabling each student to develop inherent ability to the fullest extent with a balance of discipline and freedom."

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.

QuickStart Tennis part of 'Miracle' at St. Petersburg Centennial Waterfront Parks Celebration

The City of St. Petersburg, Fla., celebrated the 100th birthday of it's downtown waterfront parks on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010, with a free party at all 12 parks. The Suncoast Tennis Foundation (STF) was invited by the Centennial Committee to hold a tennis program for young children who would be attending this "Party in the Parks." 

Suncoast Tennis Foundation Director Judy Foster led the effort to produce a day of QuickStart tennis at North Shore Park. STF was also represented by Sharon Bodine, USTA Jr. Team Tennis coordinator for Pinellas County and a member of the STF Board of Directors. The foundation partnered with Charles Melin of Tampa Bay Area Tennis and Jack Carey and Jeff Lahm of Beach to Bay Tennis. Also assisting were tennis pro Doug Woods and the late Dick Fletcher's grandson, Keanau Fletcher, who is certified as an associate instructor with the Professional Tennis Registry.

"One of the highlights of the day was described as a 'miracle' by Centennial Committee member Alice Tenney," Foster said. "A grandmother who is raising her three young granddaughters at first said that two of the girls could never want to play tennis. The youngest at age eight has ADHD, and her grandmother does not want her on medication, but could find nothing on which the girl would focus and have a good time. When the two girls and their grandmother passed by the tennis courts where QuickStart tennis was, being played by a bunch of kids, the two girls stopped and just stared with a longing look in their eyes. We asked if they wanted to play and after a moment of hesitation, the grandmother said yes. What followed is the 'miracle.'
"The 8-year-old with ADHD, never having held a tennis racquet, began smiling and laughing as she tried over and over again to hit the low compression balls back to the tennis pro who was working with her and her older sister. Soon it was evident that she was very focused on mastering the proper swing and returning the ball. Her grandmother could not believe it and had tears in her eyes. Both girls were having such a wonderful time and practically had to be pushed off the court to go home. They only agreed to leave after their grandmother signed them up to come back the next day and begin taking tennis lessons from Jeff Lahm and Jack Carey. They have QuickStart at North Shore Park every Sunday and Thursday afternoon.

"A second real success story from this day is about two young boys who attended private school but were not old enough to participate in school sports. They loved playing QuickStart and wanted to continue, but there was no program at their school. Imagine their delight and their mother's when Charles Melin told them he was working with their school and soon would have an after-school QuickStart program there.

"All involved in the QuickStart program that day felt we definitely made a impact on the lives of a number of children and it was proven once again that using the QuickStart method of teaching tennis to youth 10-and-under is the way to go!"

mardy-fest-poster-webUSTA Ticket Discount for Mardy's Tennis & Jake's Music Fest in Vero Beach

No. 16-ranked American tennis player Mardy Fish looks ahead to hosting the fifth annual celebrity charity event, Mardy's Tennis & Jake's Music Fest to Benefit the Mardy Fish Foundation and Jake Owen Foundation, on Dec. 10-11, 2010. The Tennis Exhibition, Kids' Tennis Clinic and Luncheon will return to Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club, the Host Sponsor of the event. 

The Tennis Exhibition will feature Event Host tennis professional Mardy Fish, tennis legend Ivan Lendl and the No. 1-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan, the Bryan Brothers. Fish welcomes his childhood friend and Grammy nominated RCA recording artist, Jake Owen, who will perform a hometown concert with special guest Platinum-selling Capitol Nashville recording artists Little Big Town, at Holman Stadium, formerly "Dodgertown" at Vero Beach Sports Village.

The schedule for the event's action packed weekend: Kids' Tennis Clinic, Dec. 10, 2010, 4-5 p.m.; Jake Owen Concert, Dec. 10, 2010, 7 p.m.; Luncheon, Dec. 11, 2010, 12:30-2:30 p.m.; and Tennis Exhibition, Dec. 11, 2010, 2:30 p.m. (singles match featuring Mardy Fish vs. Ivan Lendl, followed by a doubles match of  Mardy Fish/Ivan Lendl vs. the Bryan brothers.

Mardy's Tennis & Jake's Music Fest is offering a special 5% discount to USTA members to attend the Tennis Exhibition. Box seats are $71.25 and General Admission tickets are $33.25 for USTA members. Fish created the Mardy Fish Foundation to support youth organizations in Indian River County. For more info call (561) 394-9190 or visit www.chevents.com.

PTR Annual International Tennis Symposium Set for Feb. 2011

Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) will hold its annual International Tennis Symposium on Feb. 19-24, 2011, at PTR Headquarters on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

The Symposium attracts nearly 1,000 tennis teachers and coaches from more than 50 countries. Many of the tennis industry's most notable speakers including Leo Alonso, Mike Barrell, Doug Cash, Pat Etcheberry, Don Henson, Anne Pankhurst and Dr. Bryce Young will be among the more than 50 presenters who will conduct classroom and on-court presentations. Subject matter ranges from tennis business to tactics to injury prevention and treatments.  There is also a special high school coaches' tract that will be held over President's Weekend.

Teaching pros show off their playing skills at a tournament, held in conjunction with the Symposium. The Symposium also offers a Tennis Trade Show where 45-plus organizations and companies, such as, Gamma, Head/Penn and Playmate, exhibit their new product lines, latest technologies and services. Product demonstrations will be conducted on an adjacent demo court.

For complete information and registration, visit http://www.ptrtennis.org/events/ptr-week

2011-Delray-ITC-Member-DiscountHectman Wins 2nd Straight 'Survivor Series' Pre-qualifying at ATP Delray Beach

Eric Hechtman of Miami successfully defended his title in the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships (ITC) "Survivor Series I" pre-qualifying tournament by beating Phillip Eilers of Salt Lake City, UT, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, Tuesday at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center. Down 5-2 in the third set, Hechtman faced two match points before winning five straight games en route to his second straight title.

"It was a good match, and a lot like last year," said the 27-year-old, who is a full-time teaching pro at Royal Palm Tennis Club in Pinecrest. "He (Eilers) got a streak going and got some confidence but I was able to come back on a roll myself."

Hechtman, the No. 3 seed in a field of 90 players, earned a wildcard into the ITC's qualifying tournament that will be held Feb. 19-21, 2011. The top four finishers in the that qualifying tournament reach the ATP World Tour event's 32-player main draw, a draw that includes American stars Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and John Isner. Hechtman is the all-time leader in doubles wins (84) at the University of Miami where he played his collegiate tennis. He was All-ACC as a senior following the 2006-07 season.

The "Survivor Series I" pre-qualifying tournament is the first of two that offer all tennis players a shot at reaching a professional ATP event. The second event will be held Jan. 29-31, 2011, at the Delray Swim and Tennis Center. For more information, please call 561-330-6000 or go to www.YellowTennisBall.com

mediawall-USTA ServesText 2 Donate to USTA Serves/Usher's New Look Foundation

Earlier this year the USTA announced a new three-year partnership between USTA Serves, the USTA's national philanthropic entity, and the New Look Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by R&B superstar Usher, designed to mentor youth to become global and community leaders.

Now you can support the USTA Serves/New Look Foundation by instantly taking out your cell phone and sending a text donation that will be charged to your phone bill. Send a text/SMS message to 27138, and in the message area type SERVES and a space, followed by a dollar amount (do not use a dollar sign). Example: SERVES 20

The New Look Foundation provides the training and tools that allow young leaders to create and implement service projects within their own communities. New Look will work with the USTA's 555 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) chapters -- which reach 225,000 children -- and other qualified tennis and education programs to expand young people's leadership capabilities and opportunities.

"We are excited to continue our work with the USTA and look forward to a long term partnership," said Shawn H. Wilson, president of New Look Foundation. "We have a common mission, to enrich young people, and together both organizations can make this goal a reality."

The New Look Foundation will develop a pilot service-learning curriculum for a select group of NJTL chapters geared towards expanding young people's leadership in communities off the tennis court, while building their commitment and dedication to improving their skills as a tennis player.






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