Baltimore Tennis Patrons -- Community Tennis Association of the Year
As director of programs for the Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons Association Inc. (BTP), Lynn Morrell (right) says the key to growing the game is twofold: making it affordable and accessible for kids and adults.
The BTP — based in Towson, Md., and with former pro player Pam Shriver as its honorary chairman — has succeeded in both missions. Since it was founded in 1973, the BTP has served more than 100,000 youth, adult, senior, and wheelchair players in over 70 communities.
Committed to improving the quality of life for children and families recreationally and educationally, the BTP uses tennis to teach life values including self-discipline, physical fitness, sportsmanship, and respect for diversity. And for its efforts, the Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons is RSI’s Community Tennis Association of the Year.
“The Baltimore Tennis Patrons has played a huge role in the success of all TIA and USTA programs by introducing tennis to thousands of juniors and adults,” says Chris Mireles, national coordinator for the Tennis Industry Association. “Hands down, Lynn Morrell and the BTP staff run one of the best organizations I’ve ever worked with.”
In 2004, the BTP registered 60 neighborhood courts, schools, and parks as Tennis Welcome Centers. This year, the BTP is focusing on growing Cardio Tennis and continuing its commitment to underserved youth through homework support and free, year-round tennis classes. Instructional programs, team tennis, competitive leagues, and tournaments are also offered.
“We pride ourselves on providing programs that fit the needs of everyone who wants to live and breathe tennis,” Morrell says.
Baltimore Tennis Patrons’ tips for success
- Before designing programs, survey new and existing players about which programs they enjoy and which ones are missing.
- Make classes and programs accessible in terms of length, time of day, number of weeks, etc.
- Embrace partnerships. Like the BTP, team with your local park and rec to maximize participation.
See all articles by Cynthia Cantrell
About the Author
Cynthia Cantrell is a contributing editor of Tennis Industry magazine.