USTA Celebrates Extraordinary Tennis Growth and Twelve Years of May as National Tennis Month
*WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 4, 2009 - *The USTA announced today that in celebration of May as National Tennis Month, the USTA will conduct festivities nationwide to celebrate tennis as the fastest-growing traditional sport in the U.S. The 12th year of National Tennis Month comes at a great time for tennis, as recent data from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association shows that tennis is the fastest growing sport in the country, with participation increasing 43% since 2000 and 9.6% last year alone.
Tennis legends Billie Jean King and John McEnroe will kick off National Tennis Month in New York City with a media appearance on May 6 to help promote the community tennis initiative. U.S. Fed Cup Captain Mary Joe Fernandez, U.S. Davis Cup Captain Patrick McEnroe, and former women’s tennis star Anna Kournikova will also serve as spokespeople during the month-long celebration.
To celebrate tennis, the USTA once again will hold “Tennis Block Parties” - a nationwide series of tennis festivals designed to increase tennis participation in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Hosted at public parks, schools and tennis facilities, “Tennis Block Parties” will feature tennis instruction by skilled teaching professionals and special guests. The “Tennis Block Parties” will also include interactive games and attractions, offering participants the opportunity to learn and enjoy the many benefits of the sport.
The events are free to the public and are designed for people of all ages and abilities, from lifetime players to those who have never picked up a racquet. In this troubled economy, tennis has proven to be an inexpensive activity for the entire family - 70% of all tennis in the U.S. is played on public courts.
Some “Tennis Block Parties” also will include two of the latest USTA youth initiatives, the QuickStart Tennis play format and the USTA Rapid Rally Skills Competition, part of the USOC’s Jr. Olympic Skills Competition. The QuickStart Tennis play format is for children age 10-and under and features equipment, courts and scoring specifically tailored to the age and size of the child.
Individuals looking to find out if a Tennis Block Party is taking place in their area should check out the website www.tennismonth.com
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