Father’s Day Experiences the Whole Family Can Enjoy

New and exciting ways to celebrate Dad with a tennis twist.

This Sunday is Father’s Day and if you feel you have exhausted all possible ways to celebrate Dad we are here to help!

Is Dad the one that is never late for a tennis match with his buddies? Or maybe he’s the one jumping at any chance to play tennis tournaments? Or was Dad “the man” for being at every one of your matches or tournaments, motivating you and fueling you up to do your best?

USTA Mid-Atlantic has compiled different, fun and exciting experiences to celebrate Dad – and it is all through your shared love of TENNIS. And the best part, you can continue them as a tradition for years to come.

So instead of gifting the yearly bow tie, a “#1 Dad” coffee mug, or socks this Father’s Day look to these ideas for inspiration on how you can salute Dad.

  • Find a court in a local park that you have never played at before and hit around with Dad. Enjoy taking in the experience of playing somewhere new, pack a picnic basket and take time for good conversation after the match;
  • Cardio tennis is becoming a huge deal, in about an hour you get a great workout in and enjoy tennis – take the whole family to your favorite court and set up cardio tennis drills or find a class near you;
  • Wimbledon is fast approaching – cook a traditional English style breakfast to share with Dad and the whole family. Bonus points for everyone that comes in white!
  • Have used tennis balls, and don’t know what to do with them? You and Dad can take them to a local animal shelter or SPCA and share the gift of tennis with all of the playful dogs;
  • Honor Dad and set up a Facebook fundraiser raising money in his name for USTA Mid-Atlantic, or donate to USTA Mid-Atlantic in your Dad’s honor;
  • Is Dad a champion for local tennis or doing something innovative for the sport in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section? Recognize and celebrate your Dad by nominating him for a USTA Mid-Atlantic Award;
  • Challenge your Dad to an on-court steps challenge – use your smartwatch or step tracker and see who can get more steps in a game of tennis;
  • Honor Dad  and purchase a brick at the US Open with his name on it;
  • Volunteer with Dad for the day at a local Community Tennis Association or see if there is a local tennis court that needs some sprucing up that you can do together as a way to give back to the local community;
  • Do you and Dad share a love for woodworking? Make a vintage tennis racquet basket to use in any room in the house;
  • And last, bake and decorate cupcakes, cookies or a cake like a tennis ball and share the tennis treat with family and friends!

Don’t just settle for a boring Father’s Day gift this year. Try something new and create a lasting tradition with Dad and the family.

Give Recognition – Nominate Champions of Tennis Today

Every year, USTA Mid-Atlantic recognizes and awards individuals and organizations that are champions in the tennis community. Award season is an exciting time of the year because individuals and organizations are being nominated by peers and others who are working hand-in-hand to fulfill a common goal, which is to bring more tennis to the community.

The accomplishments being made in the community for tennis take time, passion and commitment. Being recognized for this hard work can leave a lasting impression, validate the importance of the work being done, and can inspire others as an example to emulate. That is why it is important to nominate deserving individuals and organizations today!

We turned to last years’ award winners and asked them about the significance of being nominated and awarded a USTA Mid-Atlantic Section award.

When Jill Rene Steele, the Principal of Simpson Elementary School in West Virginia, was asked what it meant to her and her school to be awarded the Outstanding School Partner Award she said, “We were so honored to be chosen, and thrilled to be involved.” Simpson Elementary was a USTA Mid-Atlantic school partner and offered in-school opportunities to students eager to learn tennis in 2018. “Our school has gained increased confidence in realizing we can attain recognition for achievements at a greater level than just locally,” Jill notes further.

Not only are organizations recognized for their achievement in promoting tennis across the region, but individuals are also being celebrated as well.

When Riley King, winner of the Most Valuable Member Award, was asked why it is important for fellow members to nominate deserving individuals for awards he said, “It is nice to show recognition to those who invest in a sport and have a positive influence on others.” He further noted, “I’m never surprised how widespread and far-reaching the tennis community is, and yet it always feels like a “small world” because you are able to make so many connections to different people.” For Riley, being involved in this sport is not just about teaching tennis, it is about building relationships within the community as well.

Another individual who notes the importance of nominating people and organizations for a Mid-Atlantic Section award is Jerry Cifuentes. Jerry won the Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award in 2018 and winning this award continues to be a positive reinforcement in his life. When asked how it felt to be recognized in front of a crowd of people at the Washington Kastles match he said, “The feeling was incredible! It gave me the motivation to continue to do what I love, which is teaching tennis.” Not only did it feel great for Jerry to be awarded this honor, but it gave him the confidence to continue to move forward with his work. “I want to continue to work with those who may not be exposed to tennis, due to cultural, racial, or social boundaries; and I want to put them at the forefront of my coaching,” he said.

All award winners felt honored to be recognized by peers and motivated to continue to bring tennis to more people in the future.

Now it is your turn to leave your mark. If you know a deserving person or group to honor with a USTA Mid-Atlantic Section award, nominate them today and let them know they have made a positive impact for tennis.

USTA Mid-Atlantic will be accepting nominations until July 1 and will present the winners with their awards on July 20 at USTA Family Day at The Washington Kastles. Happy nominating!

If you have any further questions, please reach out to Megan Driscoll at driscoll@mas.usta.com and we will be happy to assist.

Make an Impact Beyond the Net

Create happier, healthier, and more active communities through tennis.

Tennis has the power to transform lives. Tennis gets you physically active and helps you stay mentally sharp. It gives you new challenges to face and a lesson learned every time you play. New friends are made and you connect with people from your community. Above all, tennis is a sport you can play your entire life.

We believe every person in the Mid-Atlantic region deserves access to the transformative power of tennis, especially children. You can help increase access to tennis and grow the sport so that more people, no matter background, location, resources, ability, can learn and play for life.

See how your support will directly influence the Mid-Atlantic tennis community.

Today, you can make an impact beyond the net! By making a tax-deductible donation you will directly impact the access to tennis in the Mid-Atlantic. And now is a better time than ever to make a tax-deductible donation because an anonymous donor will double all donations up to $10,000 for 2019!

After School Tennis Programs Reach Milestones

Since 2016, USTA Mid-Atlantic’s TGA Premier Youth Tennis after school and summer camp enrichment programs have been introducing children to the lifelong sport of tennis. The program has had more than 10,000 in participation and is delivering on the promise USTA Mid-Atlantic envisioned at the onset – every child in the region learning, and loving, tennis.

As the spring sessions come to close and the school year ends, our impact through the programs has never been more apparent. Record numbers of children are participating and interest is growing among school communities to offer tennis to students. In just the winter and spring sessions alone there have been more than 2,400 in participation – this is an increase of 38% compared to this time last year.

This is incredible growth, but what you may not realize is that we depend on generous donations to help us reach children with the benefits of tennis.

A number of our USTA Mid-Atlantic TGA Premier Youth Tennis programs had significant milestones so far this year (winter and spring sessions) and we’ve got the incredible highlights below:

  • In Howard County, Md., programs had more than 600 registrations combined which is the highest for any of our locations, ever!
  • A new program was started to serve home schooled children in Loudoun County, Va., to provide a healthy enrichment activity.
  • In Richmond, Va., 91 students – a record number – participated in tennis after school at Woodbridge Elementary.
  • Richmond also saw a record number of participants in the spring with 193 registrations.
  • A new program was started in Prince William County, Va., at Springwoods Elementary with 26 students in the first season, this is almost triple the students than usual for a new program.
  • At Barrett Elementary in Fairfax County, Va., student interest in tennis was so strong that we held three sessions during one season to serve 41 students.
  • In West Virginia, we started a new after school program at North Elementary. More than 123 participants went through at least one season which is the most from any one school!
  • Also in West Virginia, a record number of participation happened in one season across all schools served in the area with more than 350 children participating!
  • And in the Glen Oben community in Anne Arundel, Md., they’ve highlighted tennis as their “community sport” to help neighbors get more activity. The Homeowners Association has partnered with us to deliver tennis enrichment programs for their community.

With our mission in mind to promote and develop the growth of tennis and our vision to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region, we are passionate about our after school and summer camp tennis programs; through these programs, more children are introduced to the game and gain vital skills from playing the sport.

We are so committed to introducing ALL youth in the Mid-Atlantic to tennis that we offer our programs at significant discounts; provide scholarships; and deliver incentives for school communities that help remove barriers to play.  With your support, we can continue accomplishments and milestones like these every season. We can continue to put racquets in hands and change lives. We can show children how healthy, active lifestyles can be fun and we can give them gifts of life skills that will benefit them for years to come.

It is through the love of tennis we can change lives together. You can be part of this great change and help us deliver more after school and summer camp tennis programs to ALL children in the Mid-Atlantic. Make a tax-deductible donation today.

Building Relationships through Tennis

“I always tell the kids, find the joy in tennis and have fun. More fun means more tennis!”

My name is Max, and I am a coach in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section’s after school tennis program. As a high school tennis player and certified tennis coach, I’ve always found tennis to be a special sport because it brings all types of people together. I see this happening in the USTA Mid-Atlantic’s after school tennis program too – children of all backgrounds and experience levels coming together and having fun with one another, all thanks to tennis. Let me share an example.

Recently, I was working with a larger group of children of all different ages during an after school tennis session. I observed a first grade student playing tennis with a third grade student. This was quite an accomplishment because the younger student was very shy, and had a harder time getting involved in the games. With the help of the older teammates, over the weeks of the after school tennis program, the child really opened up and became comfortable playing tennis with all the students. This was special to see because it showcased the transformative power of tennis. It took teamwork and friendship to allow this student to be encouraged to play the game.

The USTA Mid-Atlantic’s after school tennis program helps kids connect with one another, and make breakthroughs both with their tennis skills and social skills to open up in new ways than before. This is a positive experience that lasts a lifetime.

This is why it is so critical to support this program. The way it is structured helps bring children together that are all different levels and helps them all succeed and grow in the sport together.

Ensuring that USTA Mid-Atlantic can continue to make the tennis after school program affordable and accessible to all while delivering high-quality experiences is critical. It is truly a  special program and I encourage individuals to make a tax deductible donation today to help the program grow.

As the after school session is coming to an end for the spring, I feel I have had a positive impact working with the kids in the tennis program. Through this program, I make a difference in their day and I see their excitement to play tennis.

When you make a tax deductible gift of $100.74, it not only covers the cost of equipment, high-quality curriculum, and instruction for one child in the program, you are supporting a program that is rewarding for children and one that allows them to focus on enjoying the fun of the sport while learning so much about themselves and others who may not be like them.

And USTA Mid-Atlantic has an anonymous donor that will match all donations made up to $10,000 for 2019.

Thank you for reading my coaching story. I invite you to read perspectives from two other coaches, Noe and Raith, and learn more about USTA Mid-Atlantic’s tennis after school program and the impact being made.

Sincerely,

Max

Proud Coach, USTA Mid-Atlantic After School Youth Tennis Program

P.S. USTA Mid-Atlantic has reached more than 1,300 kids so far in 2019 and more than 10,000 overall since the program’s inception in 2016. Your tax deductible gift of $100.74 will help another child experience the love of tennis.