Tennis Across America celebrates 20 years of grassroots tennis
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 20th annual Tennis Across America day will be celebrated May 9. Tennis-teaching professionals will provide the perfect learning opportunity for people eager to play by offering free Tennis Across America clinics in more than 350 cities nationwide, and then provide follow-up programming.
Established in 1990 by the United States Professional Tennis Association, Tennis Across America™ is 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. Examples of this might be individuals who are senior citizens, inner-city and minority children, handicapped children and adults, and many more. People getting their first taste of tennis will learn basics to get started, find out how to improve and reap the benefits of a calorie-burning workout.
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.
While Tennis Across America Day will officially be celebrated May 9, it is not limited to just that day. More than 1,500 USPTA Professionals and Recreational 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.
Tennis — for the health of it! is again the theme of Tennis Across America. Tennis — for the health of it! strives to make the general public aware of the tremendous health, fitness and psychological benefits of tennis and encourage people to get out and play the sport as a part of their regular fitness regimen. The USPTA also strives to encourage and enable kids across the nation and world to live a healthy lifestyle through the sport of tennis. In addition, the USPTA and its members are the delivery force through which the public can receive these benefits through lessons and other tennis activities.
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; former touring professionals Leslie Allen, Cliff Drysdale, Todd Martin, Emilio Sanchez Vicario, Harold Solomon, and Tony Trabert; TV analysts Mary Carillo and Pam Shriver; Randy Snow, the first Paralympian inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame; 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 uspta.com or call 800-877-8248.
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