Community Tennis Action!
Unsure how a CTA can help your business? The head of the CTA Development Committee says you have a lot to gain by getting involved.
Is “CTA” in your vocabulary? Better yet, are you doing all you can for community tennis? It’s a tough question to ask yourself.
As chair of the national USTA Community Tennis Association Development Committee, I am dedicated to this cause. It is our charge to advise and support staff and volunteers at all levels in creating, developing, and strengthening a nationwide network of self-sufficient Community Tennis Associations to increase tennis participation at the local level.
As a PTR certified pro, I see being involved in community tennis as a part of my professional obligation to help promote and develop the growth of tennis.
A CTA-based program, along with a strong park partnership, started my tennis-playing career. The good folks at the Greater Des Moines Tennis Association sponsored the local USA Tennis NJTL program, where I learned the basics. If not for this great introduction to tennis, who knows what I would be doing now?
What is a CTA? It is defined as “any incorporated, geographically defined, not-for-profit, volunteer-based tennis organization that supports or provides programs which promote and develop the growth of tennis.” CTAs fall into four categories:
- A Single-Purpose CTA is organized with a single, narrow purpose that addresses a specific community need, such as a group of senior citizens interested in starting a senior division of USA League Tennis.
- A Multi-Purpose CTA is similar to a single-purpose CTA, except that the association offers more than one program or service. An example is a community committed to offering a variety of USA Tennis programs for youth, but not for adults.
- An Umbrella CTA represents the most comprehensive type, delivering a full menu of programs and services to the entire community, regardless of age, gender, cultural or socioeconomic background, physical ability or skill level.
- A Coalition CTA represents the alliance of diverse community organizations whose purpose is to facilitate the delivery of tennis programs and services.
Don’t be threatened by a CTA — embrace it. It will surely enhance you and your operation. It’s everybody’s tennis future.
So what’s in it for you to get involved with one of these organizations? Plenty. You’ll be able to:
- Gain additional experience by offering a program outside of your normal comfort level, perhaps an inner-city or wheelchair program.
- Build potential future customers who might decide to take up the game and join your facility.
- Work with your CTA to share revenue of select events.
- Gain additional exposure for you and/or your club or facility.
- Feel good about what you’re doing in the professional realm to give back to the sport.
- Take a leadership role in the CTA, such as being an officer, and gain prestige and further your education and knowledge.
- Offer CTA-based events that can lead to great networking opportunities with connected folks in your community.
You can also bring a wealth of people to the CTA with your current club clients that are attorneys, bankers, media, or non-profit experts. Any and all would be great to have on the board.
Plenty of free and low-cost resources are available for you to begin or expand your CTA, including: CTA start-up and expansion grants; CTA manuals for forming a CTA and for fund raising; USTA adjunct faculty from the USTA/SERV Department able to conduct local training sessions; website advice and development; USTA section and district staff liaisons; CTA insurance; on-line registration; and much more. To learn more, call your USTA section office or go to usta.com.
Additionally, over the next several months, the USTA staff and volunteers will unroll an initiative to grow tennis through the park and recreation system. It truly does start in parks. With our partner — the National Recreation and Park Association — the $1 million Tennis in the Park initiative will look at grants, advocacy, infrastructure, technical assistance, facility enhancement, and more.
And with continued promotion of Tennis Welcome Centers and Cardio Tennis, the opportunity to grow our sport is endless.
The USTA’s CTA Development Committee is dedicated to its priorities:
- The Community Funding Program (formerly called Funded Markets).
- Expanding benefits and education.
- National and regional workshops.
- Awards and volunteer recognition.
- Communication flow to our section representatives and other section community development committees.
CTA — You’ve got the definition, the big picture, how we can help, how it helps you. Now it’s your turn to serve.
See all articles by Scott Hanover
About the Author
Scott Hanover is the general manager of Clayview Country Club, a swim, tennis, and fitness facility in Kansas City, Mo. As a volunteer, he serves as the national chairperson of the USTA Tennis in the Parks committee.