Darling Tennis Center now USTA Certified
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The USTA announced today that the city of Las Vegas Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center has been named as a USTA Certified Regional Training Center. The move is part of the USTA’s continuing expanded effort to develop future American tennis champions. As a Certified Regional Training Center, the Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center can better serve the junior tennis community in the USTA Intermountain Section, which includes Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and the southern part of Idaho. Las Vegas native and eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi was on hand for the event.
The USTA Certified Regional Training Centers expand the USTA Player Development program’s reach throughout the country by partnering with academies, clubs and tennis centers that have a proven record of identifying and developing tennis players. In December of 2008, the USTA named the Racquet Club of the South in Atlanta and The Junior Tennis Champions Center in Maryland as its first two Certified Regional Training Centers. In addition to the Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center (DTC) in the USTA Intermountain Section, the USTA also named networks of facilities in both Texas and throughout the Midwest last summer. The USTA plans to name between eight to 10 additional Certified Regional Training Centers (RTCs) throughout the country over the next five years.
“The Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center is one of the finest facilities in the country and will give us a strong presence in the Intermountain area,” said Martin Blackman, Senior Director, Talent Identification and Development, USTA Player Development, who oversees the USTA Certified Regional Training Center program. “The DTC coaches led by Saad Ashraf and Tim Blenkiron have a proven track record of developing top junior players, and combined with the efforts of Tiffany Clifford, Player Development Coordinator for USTA Intermountain, I think this Certified Regional Training Center will quickly become a place for juniors throughout the Intermountain section to receive great training during the RTC camps. And most importantly, it will be a vehicle for connecting players with the best junior development coaches in the Intermountain Section.”
“I commend the USTA for partnering with the Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center as part of its Certified Regional Training Center program in helping kids reach their full potential,” said Andre Agassi, a Las Vegas native and founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. “It is great to see USTA Player Development expanding its reach throughout the country, making it easier for top junior tennis players to get good coaching right at home.”
“The USTA’s designation of the Darling Tennis Center as a Certified Regional Training Center is an honor,” said Las Vegas Councilman Stavros S. Anthony, who represents the area. “We are fully aware of the enormous effort the USTA has put into improving our player development process in this country. We feel proud and honored that the USTA has selected our world-class facility.”
In addition to continuing their already existing programs, USTA Certified Regional Training Centers also host USTA Player Development camps for players ages 10-14 in their respective regions. Participants are selected in conjunction with the USTA National coaching staff and their respective USTA Section Coaching Commission. The RTCs will also help identify talent in players as young as 6 years old, run programs using the QuickStart* Tennis play format and host QuickStart tournaments for players 8-and-under and 10-and-under.
The camps will be staffed by the head coaches at the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers with assistance from the USTA National coaching staff. The coaches at the USTA Certified Regional Training Centers will also operate in conjunction with the USTA Coaching Education program by working with and training the top coaches in their region and USTA section. Additionally, the coaches will attend training sessions at USTA National Training Centers in Boca Raton, Fla., Carson, Calif., and Flushing, N.Y.
The city of Las Vegas Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center is located in Las Vegas and is the largest outdoor tennis facility in Nevada. The facility, which was named 2009 Public Park of the Year by Racquet Sports Industry magazine, boasts 23 lighted outdoor hard courts in addition to a 3,000 seat stadium court.
The new USTA Player Development unit has been created to identify and develop the next generation of American champions by surrounding the top junior players and young pros with the resources, facilities and coaching they need to reach their maximum potential. The Player Development program is based at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla., and also utilizes the USTA Training Center-West in Carson, Calif., and the USTA Training Center-East in Flushing, N.Y. In 2008, the USTA began implementing its Certified Regional Training Center program as part of its expanded efforts to develop future American tennis champions, expanding the USTA Player Development program’s reach throughout the country by partnering with academies, clubs and tennis centers that have a proven record of identifying and developing tennis players.
- QuickStart Tennis is a new play format that has been developed to help kids ten and under play the game of tennis. To make the game more accessible to children, several elements have been modified including the court size, the racquet size, the balls, the scoring system, and even the net height.
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