Tennis Industry magazine


Changes Offered At 5th Annual GSS Symposium

The Grand Slam Stringers Symposium will celebrate its fifth anniversary in September. This year, the Symposium — with educational and hands-on seminars and presentations for racquet stringers, customizers and technicians — will move to Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, Fla., and follow on the heels of the USPTA’s World Conference.

The GSS Symposium will start on Saturday night, Sept. 24, with a “meet and greet,” says owner and founder Tim Strawn of Roanoke, Va. Seminars and presentations will run from Sept. 25 through 28.

“Our event begins on the day the USPTA’s conference ends at Saddlebrook,” Strawn says. “In the past, since our Symposium was in October, it was difficult for USPTA members to attend. But this year, we’ve tried to make it much easier. And special discount rates apply for USPTA members who choose to stay and attend the GSS Symposium.”

The first GSS Symposium took place in New Braunfels, Texas, in April 2007, with 21 attendees from as far away as Spain and England. The event moved to downtown Disney World in Orlando, Fla., in 2008, and attendance quadrupled, Strawn says. It’s been held in October in Orlando since that year, and attendees have come from not only around the U.S., but also from Brazil, France, Spain, England, Denmark, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Republic of Korea.

Over the five years, sponsors have included Wilson Sporting Goods, Alpha Sporting Goods, Babolat, Prince, Head, Gamma, Weed Tennis Racquets, Unique Sports, Kirschbaum and Wise. The U.S. Racquet Stringers Association joined the GSS in 2008 and over the past three years, USRSA Executive Director David Bone (also RSI’s co-publisher) has been a seminar leader, judge for the Prince speed-stringing contest, and conducted USRSA certification each year (which he will do again this year). Other seminar leaders have included industry experts such as Ron Rocchi of Wilson, Mark Gonzales of Alpha, John Gugel, and Grant Morgan.

“Starting a new industry event five years ago was quite a challenge, but we’ve really come a long way,” Strawn says. “I have to thank folks like Dave, Ron, Mark, the people at Babolat, and many others for all their support. We’ve managed to develop and grow a fun event for stringers.”

Courses at the GSS Symposium have included basic stringing, a four-hour course on advanced stringing presented by Wilson, working with natural gut, racquet customization, machine repair & maintenance, string technologies, marketing, and customer service. There also is an open stringing room where attendees can try out a variety of stringing machines from various manufacturers.

Strawn has several additions planned for 2011, including:

For more information about the 2011 Grand Slam Stringers Symposium, or to register, visit grandslamstringers .com. Discounts apply for those registering before June 30.

What Stringers Say About the GSS Symposium



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