2007 USTA Section of the Year: Florida
The USTA Florida Section has taken to heart USTA President Jane Brown Grimes’ call to “bring tennis to where the kids are.” The section’s goal is to introduce tennis to both the physical education curriculum and after-school programming in at least one school in each of Florida’s 67 counties, and it continued making strides toward that goal in 2007.
The section’s success is due, in part, to a “School Summit” workshop held the last two years. “The idea was to have a one- or two-day workshop, to invite school administrators to learn about the USTA School Tennis initiative, and to go through an in-service training,” says Andy McFarland, the section’s associate executive director for community tennis.
Florida’s continued dedication to promoting School Tennis is among the reasons it has been named RSI’s USTA Section of the Year — our first two-time winner of a Champions of Tennis award (Florida also was named our USTA Section of the Year in 2005).
“The idea of the School Summit was very successful and is much more time effective than approaching individual schools with only a few teachers,” says Kirk Anderson, USTA director of Recreational Coaches and Programs. One participant was so impressed, he made sure each of the 350 PE teachers he oversees, representing more than 200 schools, was trained in the curriculum. During 2006 and 2007, nearly 100 schools signed on. “That was just one splinter of success coming out of our School Summit,” says McFarland.
The section’s success goes beyond the School Tennis initiative. For instance, Florida has been active in hosting Recreational Coaches Workshops — at least eight each year across the state — training potential and existing tennis coaches and leaders to work with large groups of players.
Tips for success
- Have a full-time coordinator focused on a specific program or initiative.
- Provide other field staff to support the coordinator, with specific program goals and customer relations.
- Seek the support and resources from your section’s board of directors and the USTA national office.
See all articles by Kristen Daley
About the Author
Kristen Daley is a contributing editor for RSI magazine.