Tennis brought back fun for kids in the summer of uncertainty.
Even with the change in normalcy this summer and in a time of the pandemic, there is plenty of summer tennis successes to report on. The momentum for tennis in the Mid-Atlantic kept ongoing, especially among youth players. Tennis proved to be the perfect solution for kids to have fun, stay active, and keep up with healthy habits while maintaining appropriate social distance (without being socially distant).
Summer tennis programs needed to be different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. With safety as a top priority USTA Mid-Atlantic – a nonprofit organization – and TGA Premier Youth Tennis innovated to host a variety of summer programs that met the needs of players, parents, and kids alike. Programs were provided in a way that was accessible to more people in support of USTA Mid-Atlantic’s mission.
Through innovative experiences and new partnerships, record numbers of youth got active with tennis. In less than three months, USTA Mid-Atlantic saw 924 registrations in our summer recreation tennis programs.
Kids and adults of all ages and levels practiced tennis, learned new skills, built friendships, and had plenty of fun this summer.
We are excited to share a few highlights of the successes from the summer season:
Loudoun County, Va.:
- We ran more than 20 one-day clinics. This gave families the flexibility without a long-term commitment. This was a new USTA Mid-Atlantic program and each clinic averaged 8-15 students.
- For high school tennis players, missing out on their spring season was devastating. But they came back swinging on the courts participating in two high school round-robin tournaments hosted by USTA Mid-Atlantic. This gave players a chance to keep up with their tennis skills and have a friendly competition. Each tournament sold out due to demand.
Howard County, Md.:
- A new record was set this summer for tennis camps. With our partner Howard County Recreation and Parks, there were 14 summer tennis camps. There were 186 participating players, the most that the county has seen in one summer.
- USTA Mid-Atlantic also ran three neighborhood community tennis programs, to help residents get active. This included the first-time program at a senior-living community – showcasing that tennis is a lifetime sport.
Fairfax County, Va.:
- In Fairfax, both youth and adults got into tennis through recreation programs offered in two neighboring communities so people could stay close to home while pursuing tennis.
- In the Kingstowne community in Alexandria, Va., there were 32 registered players across several youth and adult classes, which was greater than previous summer tennis seasons.
Applying lessons learned from a pilot in the spring, we continued offering virtual tennis classes this summer so that young players could practice tennis from the comfort of home.
- Overall, we had 66 registrations this summer, which is more than double from the spring pilot program.
- Certified coaches from USTA Mid-Atlantic also ran free, weekly virtual tennis sessions through Facebook LIVE. This 30-minute program ran for 9 weeks and reached more than 1,500 people every week!
- All of these sessions are now saved on USTA Mid-Atlantic’s Facebook page, click here.
Continuing Summer Momentum:
“Going into the summer, there were a lot of unknowns and we were not sure how we would plan and provide our programs,” said Alex Chan, director of recreation programs for USTA Mid-Atlantic Section.
“But we knew families were looking for a safe sport that could get them out and active and saw a need for tennis in the Mid-Atlantic. We are really proud to have given so many people the chance to play tennis, and be active safely through our summer tennis programs.”
Summer tennis this year in the Mid-Atlantic region was creative, innovative, and FUN. Through the creation of new, accessible opportunities across the Mid-Atlantic Section we were able to spread the love of tennis to more people, especially children who gain myriad benefits from the sport.
The tennis fun will continue through the fall for children. No matter what the school year looks like, USTA Mid-Atlantic’s TGA Premier Youth Tennis has accessible and flexible options for tennis after school. To find a full list of programs near you, click here.
Did you know USTA Mid-Atlantic is a non-profit organization with a mission to grow tennis? We are especially focused on ensuring more children have access to the sport no matter background, ability, or zip code. We invest resources and depend on generous donations that help us provide tennis programs in underserved communities so that ALL children can experience the life-long benefits of the sport. Learn more about our impact.