Grassroots Tennis: Play It Forward!
CTAs, public parks and NJTLs are on the front lines when it comes to growing this sport in communities.
USTA Eastern: ‘Serve for the Cure’ Tournament
The second annual Serve for the Cure tennis tournament was held in Latham, N.Y., on Sept. 27, bringing in a total of 60 participants (up 30 percent from the inaugural year). The day-long event featured a morning women’s doubles round robin, followed by a luncheon for the women. Then in the afternoon, the men took the court with their own doubles round robin, followed by a social hour with pizza and wings.
Tri–City Fitness, a local tennis club, generously donated the entire club and lounge for the day to host Serve for the Cure. The event was sponsored by USTA Eastern’s Northern Region and local businesses donated raffle prizes. Serve for the Cure was promoted and organized by All Points Tennis, a local CTA that runs leagues, tournaments and new player clinics for adults and juniors in upstate New York. All Points Tennis donated 100 percent of the event proceeds, totaling approximately $3,500, to Susan G. Komen of Northeastern New York to support local breast cancer programs.
“The Serve for the Cure tournament provided a great opportunity for the CTA to partner with Tri-City to raise awareness and funds for the local Komen affiliate on such an important cause,” says All Points Tennis board member Wendy Goffin. — Jenny Irwin
USTA New England: School Tennis Week Makes an Impact
From Oct. 19-23, Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center, located in the diverse Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, held its 20th annual School Tennis Week geared toward familiarizing Greater Boston Area students with tennis, sportsmanship and exercise. This year, more than 1,600 students were able to participate in School Tennis Week, and for some students, it was their first time picking up a racquet. Students played games and completed team-building activities, each of which ended with the traditional handshake or high-five.
“School Tennis Week has become a Sportsmen’s tradition that promotes the sport of tennis and contributes to the growing numbers of youth players in our community,” says Jelani Haynes, director of community outreach. “It’s great to see 50 to 100 students all actively engaged simultaneously, and I enjoy hearing students tell our staff and their teachers, ‘I want to play more’ or ‘I’m definitely coming back and bringing friends.’”
This fall, officers from the Boston Police Department were invited to volunteer throughout the week. They participated in full uniform and hit with students as well as spoke to them following the session. The kids were drawn to the officers, whose primary purpose for volunteering was to reiterate that they are regular people just like them, and are there to help.
“The more we have positive interactions with these kids, the less time we have to spend convincing them that we’re on their side,” says police Lt. Lisa Butner. — James Maimonis
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