2008 Community Tennis Association of the Year: Lee County TA
The Lee County Community Tennis Association in the Fort Myers, Fla., area was established to provide tennis lessons to the community’s underserved youth. Since its founding in 1995, it has grown by leaps and bounds. “But our primary focus,” says LCCTA President Harriett Bohannon, “is still on our youth programs,” which include lessons, daily instruction as part of an after-school program, and league and tournament competition.
Maintaining that focus is one of the association’s four core principles. The group also strives to offer accessible and affordable programs, achieve continuous improvement in programs and operations, and establish partnerships to help support its goals.
“Our long-range vision is to position Lee County as a state and national tennis destination that builds on a comprehensive schedule of tennis programs for all ages and abilities,” says Bohannon. Their efforts toward achieving that vision have earned them distinction as RSI’s CTA of the Year.
Serving players throughout the county, the LCCTA has certainly put tennis on the map. At the end of 2007, the CTA closed in on 700 members, who are offered fee reductions on lessons and clinics, a community tennis resource guide and newsletter, and discounts on sporting goods, fitness and personal care.
Volunteers are in strong supply, with more than 100 full- and part-time residents, tennis professionals and more. And there are plenty of opportunities to serve, from assisting at Special Olympics tennis practice to volunteering at after-school tennis and tutoring programs.
“The Lee County Community Tennis Association has programs servicing all groups within the community, and does a great job of making sure tennis courts are always full,” says David Slade, USTA National Manager of Community Tennis Associations.
- Reach an agreement on organizational priorities and monitor progress toward achievement, to avoid being pulled in many different directions.
- Nurture the volunteers. Make sure they feel valued and know their efforts are appreciated.
- Don’t hesitate to ask for people to volunteer time and resources. Some may just be hesitant to step forward on their own.
See all articles by Kristen Daley
About the Author
Kristen Daley is a contributing editor for Tennis Industry magazine.