Houston Afterschool Tennis Program to Conduct Grand Slam Tennis Jam Clinic on April 6 to Promote Health and Active Lifestyle
Three hundred students will get the opportunity to attend the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: please see press release for correct contact
please see press release
03/30/09 - White Plains, N.Y.--The USTA announced today the collaborative effort between the USTA National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) – a nation-wide network of community tennis organizations – and the Cooperative for After-School Enrichment (CASE) After-School Tennis Association, an after-school tennis program for elementary and middle school students in the Harris County section of Houston, Texas. As one of the program elements, CASE will conduct the Second Annual Grand Slam Tennis Jam on April 6 at the Homer Ford Tennis Center at MacGregor Park in Houston, Texas. The event will include a tennis clinic for 300 students and is co-sponsored by the USTA. The USTA NJTL network is also celebrating its 40th anniversary – the NJTL was founded in 1969 by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell, and Sheridan Snyder.
Students from the CASE After-School Tennis Association – now a member of the NJTL network and a division of the Harris County Department of Education – will have the opportunity to practice with professional tennis players and instructors at The Grand Slam Tennis Jam. This one-day clinic will provide students from approximately 20 Harris County schools a chance to augment their tennis skills, share their learning experience with students outside of their after-school program, and complement their daily class environment. Through interaction with students from neighboring schools, participants will also meet other CASE After-School Tennis Association members and learn the importance of sportsmanship. Instructors from the Houston Tennis Association (HTA), the Zina Garrison All Court Tennis Academy (ZGA) and the USTA will provide lessons to the students at the clinic.
“We believe in engagement and enrichment along with collaboration and service,” said John E. Sawyer, School Superintendent, Harris County Department of Education. “This event brings all of these efforts to the surface. Our mission to these kids is to provide them the lessons of sportsmanship, teach them to formulate a healthy lifestyle, and possibly mold them to become tennis players. By allowing our students to obtain the fundamentals of tennis, they gain a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment, as well as exposure beyond their youthful imaginations.”
In addition to the tennis clinic, the students will have the opportunity to attend the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championships at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston. Wayne Bryan, the father of world No. 1 doubles team, Bob and Mike Bryan, and a nationally recognized coach, will address the group before matches are set to begin. He will welcome the students, and share the fundamentals of teamwork and leadership.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity for the participants to gain hands-on experience as well as to witness world-class professionals,” said Barry Ford, USTA Director of Outreach and Advocacy. “These experiences will provide further enrichment for the students who are involved in an already important and successful program.”
CASE, a division of the Harris County Department of Education, developed the After-School Tennis Association to provide students who typically do not have the opportunities to experience tennis the chance to learn the sport’s fundamentals. They not only develop into quality players, but gain a lifelong love for the game of tennis. In addition, participants improve their physical health, enrich their academic experiences, and develop their leadership capabilities. The Houston Tennis Association (HTA) and the Zina Garrison All Court Tennis Academy (ZGA) both work locally with CASE to provide instructors and coordinate programming with each school. All CASE After-School Tennis Association instructors are fully trained by the USTA.
This year, the USTA committed $90,000 to the CASE After-School Tennis Association which completed a three-year funding commitment totaling $180,000. CASE has equaled the USTA’s investment each year, matching a $30,000 investment in 2007, and the USTA’s $60,000 investment in 2008. This alliance, which started with 20 after-school sites in 2007, now boasts 62 after-school sites, exceeding the initial goal of 40 by 2008. Currently 1,000 students from 46 schools in seven school districts – 28 elementary and 18 middle schools – participate in the program. To date, CASE is the largest and most engaged partner involved in the after-school intermediary program.
Along with CASE in Houston, successful alliances are also established in the state of New Jersey, and the cities of Providence, R.I. and Washington, D.C., with plans for future alliances in Atlanta Ga., Charleston, S.C., Los Angeles, Calif., and New Orleans, La.