Tennis Across America Celebrates 18 Years of Growing the Game
Tennis is a great way to get fit and the United States Professional Tennis Association continues to take the game to new, current and former players through the Tennis Across America™ program. The 18th annual Tennis Across America day is designated for May 12.
Tennis Across America began as a larger industry initiative 18 years ago when the American Tennis Industry Federation, known today as the Tennis Industry Association, asked industry groups to create an event to spur tennis growth. The USPTA stepped up to the challenge and created Tennis Across America, the original, free, grassroots lesson program. The goal of the program is to get people out on the court, playing tennis. The multicultural segment was added later with the goal of reaching various communities and potential players who have special needs and may not otherwise have the opportunity to play. People getting their first taste of tennis learn basics to get started, find out how to improve and reap the benefits of a calorie-burning workout.
Today Tennis Across America reaches thousands of people each year and is part of a large Tennis Month celebration promoted by the United States Tennis Association. Tennis-teaching professionals certified by the USPTA provide the perfect learning opportunity for those eager to play by offering free Tennis Across America clinics in more than 350 cities nationwide, and then provide follow-up programming. The program has also been a part of National Tennis Month, which was promoted and hosted by Tennis magazine in the past.
The Tennis Across America program consists of three major elements. First, free clinics are held at public and private facilities around the nation. Second, multicultural clinics introduce the sport to various groups and give everyone the opportunity to experience tennis. Third, follow-up programs are created to provide players with an opportunity to pursue their new enthusiasm for tennis.
Tennis Across America is the perfect way to kick start getting fit and learning a new sport. Tennis is a great way to stay in shape, especially for busy parents who are looking for physical activities and sports for their children due to the decline in physical activities in schools. This is a fitness activity that the entire family can get involved in. Best of all, Tennis Across America clinics are free!
While Tennis Across America Day will officially be celebrated May 12, it is not limited to just that day. More than 1,500 USPTA Professionals and Developmental Coaches, along with volunteers, offer free clinics to the public throughout the spring and summer months. Clinics can be directed toward adults, children or both, and may include new, current and former players returning to the game.
Professionals usually schedule clinics to coincide with the start of entry-level lesson programs. Clinics are held at clubs, public parks, schools and other facilities. Free clinics can take various forms, from an introductory Cardio Tennis demonstration and class to an event focusing on children, juniors, or adults to a member-guest clinic at clubs.
The program is always generously supported by honorary co-chairs who appreciate the effort of tennis professionals and the many benefits of tennis participation. Honorary co-chairs confirmed so far for this year include the world No. 1-ranked men’s doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan; Billie Jean King, sports legend and social pioneer; former touring professionals Leslie Allen, Tom Gullikson, Stan Smith and Fred Stolle; Pam Shriver, TV analyst and former touring professional; world-renowned tennis coach and Master Professional Rick Macci; author, speaker and Master Professional Peter Burwash; and sports science expert Jack Groppel, Ph.D. They also include former President George Bush and Wayne Bryan, USPTA member and father of Mike and Bob Bryan.
To find a list of public Tennis Across America clinics, organized by city and state go to www.uspta.com or call (800) USPTA-4U and to find a host of tennis activities during Tennis Month visit www.tennismonth.com.
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