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USPTA, PTR, USTA Florida Plan 2011 Joint Tennis Effort in Florida

January 6, 2011 01:45 PM
USTA Florida President-Elect Bob Pfaender addresses the assembly of teaching pros and tennis industry attendees
A landmark meeting was held during the 61st USTA Florida Annual Meeting and Volunteer Weekend in December in Orlando, where executive members and teaching pros from the United States Professional Tennis Association-Florida (USPTA Florida), the Professional Tennis Registry-Florida (PTR Florida) and the USTA Florida Section came together to plan a strategy for further partnering to advance tennis in 2011.

PTR National President Jean Mills, USPTA National President Tom Daglis, USPTA Florida Division President Richard Centerbar, USPTA Florida past president Dave Richardson, USTA Florida President Dan Casey, USTA Florida President-Elect Bob Pfaender, and USTA Florida Executive Director Doug Booth and Associate Executive Director Andy McFarland were some of the 100+ Florida tennis movers and shakers from across the state in attendance.

Centerbar, who succeeded Richardson as USPTA Florida president, presented outgoing USTA Florida President Donn Davis with the 2010 USPTA Florida Service Award for working to bring the two organizations closer together. The USPTA's Richardson joined the USTA Florida Board of Directors as a USPTA representative in 2010.

"Seeing all of us in the same place at the same time and getting along so well, this felt historical," said Centerbar following the meeting. "From the bottom of my heart I thank USTA Florida for putting on such a wonderful event, making everyone feel so welcome, and putting USTA, USPTA, and PTR in the same room to discuss how we can accomplish great things by working together." 

USTA-PTA-USPTA-logoMills, the current PTR national president, is also a former USTA Florida president and the director of tennis at The Polo Club in Boca Raton.

"I know our tennis team of USTA, USPTA, and PTR can and will achieve significant successes working for the future of our game," Mills said. "A special thanks to Doug Booth and Richard Centerbar for our dinner many months ago that inspired this historical get together which is a wonderful start."

Part of USTA Florida's initiative to increase business for teaching pros in Florida is the distribution of 10-and-Under Tennis play format equipment through its "Share the Love" campaign. Share the Love is USTA Florida's $500,000 initiative on top of the organization's regular annual giving to promote a wide range of community tennis initiatives during difficult economic times for public and private tennis facilities and schools. The new 10-and-Under Tennis initiative is not only an easy and fun way for small children to learn tennis, but allows for more kids on a practice court, translating into higher revenue for clubs, coaches and teaching pros.

Many programs are currently using six 36-foot courts positioned sideways on one 78-foot court, with six kids per court. With up to 36 kids on one practice court, that can mean higher revenue for court time per hour, with kids constantly in action and no more standing in lines. In addition, over the next three years, USTA National plans to invest $5 million in 100 U.S. markets to foster the growth of 10-and-Under Tennis.

"I sense a real change in the tennis culture taking place, and I believe tennis will reach new heights in the short years to come," said Tom Daglis, the current USPTA national president and director of tennis, fitness and aquatics at the Lakewood Country Club in Rockville, Maryland.

The USPTA's Richardson says he was inspired by both the USTA Florida Board of Directors meeting and the USPTA-PTR-USTA meeting during the weekend, and the implications for 2011.

"I hope everyone left just charged-up on how we can ignite this new tennis relationship boom and grow this game to extraordinary heights. When all three organizations do something, the impact on Florida tennis and people's lives will be life changing."

Booth, along with the outgoing USTA Florida President Donn Davis, made it a personal goal to bring the three key Florida tennis organizations together, with Booth traveling the state in 2010 to speak at eight teaching professional meetings, from Destin to Key Largo.

"I know we can do some special things in Florida, working together better than ever going forward, and that is what really motivates me," said Booth, who has held the USTA Florida executive director position since 1990. "We all have such a great love for our sport, and I know some great things are going to happen."






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