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Jacksonville to receive $100,000 USTA Tennis Market Initiative

Jacksonville will receive $100,000 of combined funding from the United States Tennis Association (USTA) national body and the USTA Florida Section as a designated “Tennis Market Initiative” to grow 10 and Under Tennis through local community partnerships, and tennis programming in K-12 Duval County schools and beyond.

Programming will begin in February with physical education assemblies in designated schools, leading to a Tennis Festival at Burnette Park on Feb. 25, 2012. The festival will be organized by USTA Florida, Jax Parks & Recreation and the Jax Youth Tennis Association.

The USTA national Target Market Initiative began in 2011 as a $2.5 million investment in 25 tennis communities throughout the United States to grow the game and encourage young people across the country to get active and participate in the format specifically for small children on child-sized courts with age-appropriate equipment. Jacksonville joins three existing Florida TMIs announced in 2011 in Hillsborough County (Greater Tampa), Seminole County (Greater Orlando), and the Village of Wellington (Palm Beach County).

Other early partners in the venture include public and private tennis facilities and schools, the Jacksonville Mayor’s Office, Atlantic Beach Parks, District 2 of the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Florida Section, First Coast YMCA, the Jacksonville Police Athletic League, the MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation, the Jacksonville Youth Tennis Association, and USTA national trainers among others.

The $100,000 USTA grants are for a three-year period to provide a pathway for 10 and Under Tennis to USTA Jr. Team Tennis, middle school and high school play, onto college, USTA Tennis on Campus and adult league/tournament play. The primary effort is to boost the number of players age 10 and under, where the U.S. trails many of the larger developed countries.

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