USTA honors FSU tennis team
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has named Ferris State University’s (FSU) club tennis team as the 2013-14 Tennis On Campus National Club of the Year. The award is presented annually to the college or university club tennis team that has achieved a level of sustained excellence, while also demonstrating a commitment to giving back to their local community. The honor brings with it an automatic bid to the 2014 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship, which will be contested April 10-12, in Surprise, Ariz.
“The Ferris State University club tennis team has proven to be exemplary ambassadors not only for the Tennis On Campus program, but more importantly for its community involvement,” said Glenn Arrington, National Manager, USTA Tennis On Campus. “The students’ work around Grand Rapids has provided unparalleled access to tennis and opportunities for local youth. The USTA is proud to present the Bulldogs’ the Tennis On Campus National Club of the Year award.”
The members of the FSU club tennis team have built a robust community service program around Mecosta County. The club has supported Big Rapids CROP Hunger Walks, Project Starburst, the Big Rapids Grow Tennis Initiative and started their own free after-school youth tennis program for local children at the FSU Racquet & Fitness Center.
Club President Newlyn Wing said the club also started its own scholarship program in conjunction with the Professional Tennis Management Student Association at FSU and Big Rapids Community Tennis Association. The Jamel Embree Scholarship Fund was created to provide opportunities for less-fortunate, young tennis players to participate in the sport. Wing said the scholarship fund - honoring his late high school coach Jamel Embree - will be continued by FSU’s club tennis team well after he graduates.
“We were also recently honored as ‘Club of the Year’ by the USTA Midwest section,” said Wing, a senior in Ferris State’s Professional Tennis Management program. “And now, to be recognized by the USTA at the national level, it is unbelievable. We’re very humbled by it.”
USTA Tennis On Campus will present the Ferris State club tennis team with its award on Saturday, April 12, at the 2014 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship, featuring 64 co-ed teams representing colleges and universities throughout the nation. This is the Bulldogs’ second trip to Nationals; their first bid since 2011.
The USTA Tennis On Campus program features more than 35,000 college students competing nationwide in intramural and intercollegiate coed club play using the World TeamTennis format. Since its inception in 2000, Tennis On Campus has grown significantly and today is played on more than 600 college campuses across the country.
Developed by the USTA in partnership with NIRSA, World TeamTennis and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, the Tennis On Campus program gives college students the opportunity to build leadership skills, network in a coed sports environment and compete on a college team without the rigors of playing in a varsity program. With year-round match play, and regional and national championship competition, students maintain active and healthy lifestyles through their college years.
Visit the Tennis On Campus website at TennisOnCampus.com for complete results, stories and photos. In addition, please follow #TOCNationals on social media throughout the tournament.
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