Be a 'hero' in your community
The USTA’s Community Tennis Development Workshop once again drew a large, enthusiastic crowd in early February, this time in Hollywood, Calif. I was among about 650 who registered for the conference, and again, I was amazed and impressed by the dedication of this group of community tennis leaders — many who are volunteers — who came from all over the U.S. seeking ways to promote and develop tennis in their communities.
Over the years, my respect for the people who deliver tennis at the local level has grown immeasurably, thanks in large part to workshops such as the CTDW, but also because of the Tennis Teachers Conference in New York each August, the PTR Symposium in February, the USPTA World Conference in September, and many smaller gatherings.
Sometimes, I think we forget that those of us who make our living from tennis — whether as a tennis teaching pro, club or facility owner or manager, tennis retailer, manufacturer, court builder, or, in our case, tennis publisher — owe a tremendous amount to those who don’t make their living from the game. The hard-working volunteers who give their time and effort to increase participation in the sport, to put the sport front and center in their communities, unquestionably help us as we seek to make a living from this sport.
The theme of this year’s CTDW was “Heroes Among Us.” Those who gathered in California to seek out ways to grow tennis are all “heroes” in their communities. Now, as tennis participation is on the upswing and momentum continues to gather, we all need join in their quest.
These community tennis leaders need our support in every way. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to make contact with your local Community Tennis Association, or school system, or parks program, or USTA district or section, to see how you can help in growing this sport — how you, too, can be a true tennis “hero.”
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of Tennis Industry magazine.