Creating More Opportunities for Play

The Building of New Tennis Courts with Safe Place to Play Grant

A story published in USA Today reported that tennis participation skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article references a study by the Physical Activity Council (PAC) that found that 21.64 million people played tennis in 2020. This is roughly a 22 percent increase in creating more tennis play from the previous year.  

Tennis is one of the few sports that allows you to play while maintaining a safe, social distance. Additionally, tennis helps you stay fit both physically and mentally; one of the greatest benefits of the sport is the way it brings people together. Tennis helps build communities by bringing people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities together. And is a sport that you can enjoy your entire life.

Now, imagine not having access to tennis because your community either lacks a tennis court or the courts are not safe to play on. Not having playable tennis courts available, communities miss out on all the benefits tennis has to offer. Overall, no one should be precluded from the sport because of the lack of resources. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic’s solution is our Safe Place to Play Grant. Our grant provides funds for tennis court construction and refurbishment in the Mid-Atlantic – often to communities in areas that need economic investment.

Creating safe places to play with the Mid-Atlantic Safe Place to Play grant

The Safe Place to Play Grant is creating more tennis play and supports communities in tangible ways. In the last three years, USTA Mid-Atlantic has granted nearly $70,000. These projects also include community outreach in the form of accessible and affordable tennis programming so that more people can learn and play the sport.

One such project to benefit from grant funds is in West Virginia. The Safe Place to Play Grant helped one community gain the first four tennis courts, ever, for the county. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic checked in with Ryan Fincham of Morgan County Tennis Association, a 2020 grantee in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. to see how their grant funds are impacting their community.

USTA Mid-Atlantic: What’s the status of construction?

Construction began in June 2020 and the courts are 99 percent completed. The courts will open to the public on March 1, 2021.

What types of tennis programming are you planning?

MCTA Board approving new courts with the Safe Place to Play grant

For almost a decade, the Morgan County Tennis Association has offered year-round youth tennis clinics for ages 4 to 14 either on two local courts in poor shape or in high school and church gyms. With the new courts, we are planning on continuing and expanding those programs.  Secondly, the courts will be used by the middle school and the intermediate school PE classes and the Berkeley Springs High School Boys and Girls Tennis Teams (that have been in existence for more than 15 years and have never held a home tennis match).  Finally, we plan to promote USTA Adult League play, as well as start Junior Team Tennis and host USTA sanctioned tournaments.

What do these courts mean to the community?

The courts have been a dream to many in the community for nearly 20 years. The community rallied around the project, and we feel the entire community is proud of the achievement. We think that many people will try tennis for the first time on these new courts.  

Creating safe places to play in Berkley Springs W Va.

For 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, USTA Mid-Atlantic was able to continue its work supporting communities. We awarded three organizations Safe Place to Play grant funding. 

Charles City County Parks and Recreation, Charles City County, Va

The goal of rural Charles City County is to grow tennis by improving the tennis infrastructure. They recognize that tennis is an individual sport that is ideal for our current times. Their award will fund refurbishing and restoring the Parks and Recreation tennis courts. Kimberly Barrow of the Charles City County Parks and Recreation states that through this project “we would be able to affect both the physical and mental well being of the community on a large scale.” The project is scheduled to start in spring 2021.

Lindale Middle School, Anne Arundel County, Md.

Lindale Middle recognized that tennis should be accessible to all – including those who have a disability. They received state grant funding to resurface their courts but will use the Safe Place to Play grant to create more accessible tennis courts. “Our school is a community school where many organizations utilize our facilities. We want to make it another option to gather and learn the game of tennis,” says Elena Thomas of Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Their plan is to complete the entire project by fall 2021.

Rappahannock Community College Education Foundation, Warsaw, Va.

According to Kerry Wiersma of the Rappahannock Community College Education Foundation, their community’s vision is to create “a multi-generational gathering place that provides opportunities for healthy living and community engagement.” With that goal in mind, they built a joint initiative with the town of Warsaw, Richmond County, Richmond County Public Schools, and individual community donors to renovate and rebuild the tennis courts at the Rappahannock Community College. These tennis courts are the only tennis courts for the counties of Richmond, Westmoreland, Essex, and Northumberland and will be available for use by the community college, public school system, and the general population. Construction started in September 2020.

As a 501(c)3 non-profit, USTA Mid-Atlantic’s mission is to promote the growth of tennis. Quality tennis infrastructure in more communities is a key aspect of succeeding in the mission and vision of the organization. With more courts and by creating more tennis play, that means more lives and communities improve.

Your tax-deductible donations support this grant program. And supports changing lives by adding valuable tennis court infrastructure throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Make a donation today so that we can continue to offer Safe Place to Play grants.

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Team Playing Tennis

Improve Your Overall Health with Tennis

Top Reasons to Play

Have you thought about your heart health lately? In February, the NHLBI encourages you to celebrate American Heart Month to get motivated to adopt heart-healthy behaviors. One of the ways you can take care of your heart and improve your health is by playing tennis with your friends and family.

In other words, join the 3 million new players who picked up a racquet for the first time in 2020 because tennis is the safest sport to play in order to maintain social distance and safety while having fun.1

Reasons to play:

Team Playing Tennis

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Research shows that we’re more successful at meeting personal health goals when we join forces with others. When we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same.”

There are a multitude of reasons why playing tennis is a great activity to improve your health at any age. Whether it is your first time picking up a racquet, or if you are a seasoned player the heart health benefits are endless. 

Play tennis to improve your health by:

Family playing tennis
  • Get fit, lose weight and burn more calories: An hour of singles play can burn 580-870 calories. Put on your favorite fitness tracker, hit the tennis court and watch those calories sizzle away!2
  • Live longer: Playing just three hours/week will reduce your risk of heart disease 56%3
  • Strengthen your heart muscle and your bones: Compared to other sports, tennis players have the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease4
  • Develop hand-eye coordination: Playing tennis involves several skills that all contribute to good hand-eye coordination. You can improve your agility, balance, coordination, reaction time, and more. 

Together we can celebrate American Heart Month with stronger and healthier hearts today by getting out to play. 

But wait there’s more. The advantages of playing tennis do not stop there. 

Additionally, the lifetime sport of tennis helps your mental and overall well-being by:

  • Reducing stress: Tennis helps you with physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges which increases your capacity to manage stress
  • Increasing brain power: From alertness to tactical thinking, tennis enhances the neural connections in your brain. Kids who play tennis regularly get better grades.5
  • Helping you learn to problem-solve: Tennis is a sport that is based on evaluating angles, geometry, and physics to get the best result, which translates into better problem-solving off the court6
  • Enjoying time with family and friends: Great for the whole family no matter what your age. With minimal equipment needed, it’s easy to meet up with  a friend to play or find one through the game
  • Developing teamwork and sportsmanship skills: From doubles play to team and league play, tennis develops your ability to communicate and work together
  • Improving social skills: Tennis outperforms all other sports in developing positive personality characteristics7

Ready to get out on the courts?

Man Playing Tennis

Most importantly, playing tennis is not just about the competition, it is about living your life to the fullest potential. Additionally, tennis can become part of your life at any age. So get started and gain a positive impact on your life immediately. During American Heart Month, inspire and motivate yourself and those you love to make heart-healthier choices as a regular part of your routine – go play tennis! 

We can’t wait to see you out on the courts! 

______________________________________

12020 Physical Activity Council Participation (PAC) Report

2Oja, et al, Brit J Sports Med, 2016

3According to a 2016 Harvard University study

440-year study conducted by Johns Hopkins University

5 2013 USTA Study

6In a study in the late 1990s, several experts proposed that tennis, since it requires alertness and tactical thinking, may generate new connections between nerves in the brain and promote a lifetime of continuing brain development. This was supported in John Ratey’s book “Spark.” Ratey was quoted in USA Today as saying, “A heart-thumping game of tennis can keep the brain in top shape.”

7According to a study by Dr. Jim Gavin at Concordia University

orange tennis racket beside green tennis ball

Start the New Year in Fresh New Gear

Refresh Your Tennis Gear for the New Year!

The new year is almost here and soon 2020 will be in the rearview mirror. Now is the best time to refresh and upgrade your tennis gear for the new season. From racquets, string, and shoes – keeping your equipment fresh and updated can help you get the most out of your game.

One of the ways we thought we could help you is to uncover and round up the top trends in tennis gear that are on the horizon. So, USTA Mid-Atlantic checked in with two of our partners, Smith Chaiyakan at  Mains and Crosses, a full-service professional racquet stringing service in Alexandria, Va., and Darrell Haines of Tennis Topia, a tennis shop in Rockville, Md. Not only do Smith and Darrell have their pulse on the hottest equipment in the Mid-Atlantic, all of the products mentioned below can be purchased at their respective shops.  

Refresh Your Tennis Gear with Tennis Topia

Racquets

Wilson Clash. For those of you who don’t follow Wilson Sporting Goods, the Clash is the latest offering from Wilson. According to Darrell, the Clash offers players an “arm friendly, flexible-framed racquet without sacrificing power or sweet spot.” In other words, this racquet is perfect for players who want to get more power from their racquets without risking arm injuries such as tennis elbow. The Wilson Clash comes in a range of options from the Clash 98 to the Clash 108 and even offers options for junior players. The Clash retails between $199 – $249.

If you are new to tennis and looking for a racquet, Darrell says that the Head Titanium Ti S6 is excellent for beginners. The Ti S6 is lightweight and has an oversized racquet head. This means that the racquet is easier to control and will be more forgiving of a mishit ball. The Ti S6 retails for $80. 

String

Restringing your racquet should be a regular part of maintaining the quality of your game because strings lose tension over time and this decreases performance. Smith and Darrell offer the following suggestions for string:

Refresh Your Tennis Gear with Mains and Crosses

Babolat Blast RPM – the best selling string in the world and the string of choice for pro Rafael Nadal. This string offers players spin, durability and playability.

Solinco Hyper G and SolincoHyper G Soft – is a co-polyester string designed to offer more playability and control while allowing players to generate extreme power, spin and bite.

Tecnifibre Triax – According to Smith, the Triax has “performance and durability and is still soft enough for those recovering from tennis related injuries.”

String prices vary but typically start around $12.

Overgrip

There are so many options for overgrips on the market. However, Smith noted that  Tourna Grip is enjoying a popularity spike. It is an overgrip that professional tennis players such as the Bryan Brothers and John Isner choose. Tourna Grip offers a dry, comfortable grip and is able to accommodate all types of players. Tourna Grip retails starting at $5. 

Shoes

According to Darrell, the trend in tennis footwear is a shoe that offers “out-of-the-box comfort.” Additionally, more players are looking for shoes that are as light as a running sneaker with the durability of a traditional tennis shoe. Many brands offer footwear that meet this need and Nike is still one of the best selling brands. However, the K-Swiss Hypercourt Express 2 is the best selling shoe at Tennis Topia. The Hypercourt Express 2 is engineered to be supportive, stable, comfortable and durable. These shoes retail for $105.

Masks

As indoor tennis season is upon us,  players may need to wear a mask while visiting indoor tennis facilities and possibly during tennis play. Darrell  suggests Zensah Sport Performance masks. These masks are designed to be comfortable, breathable and no-slip – perfect for playing sports. Zensah masks retail for $16.

USTA Mid-Atlantic thanks Smith and Darrell for all of their excellent advice. Follow them on social media to continue to get updates on the latest in tennis gear. You can find Smith and Mains and Crosses on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.  Darrell and Tennis Topia can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Don’t forget, USTA Mid-Atlantic’s 12 Days of Gifting! You can join in the fun by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

12 Days of Gifting Givaway with USTA Mid-Atlantic

Official Rules

USTA/Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. (Sponsor or USTA MAS) 

USTA Mid-Atlantic 12 Days of Gifting Give Away Drawing 

To encourage individuals to participate in the USTA Mid-Atlantic 12 Days of Gifting social media engagement, Sponsor will be holding a Drawing to award certain prizes pursuant to these Official Rules. 

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. 

CONSUMER DISCLOSURE 

PRIZES: The twenty-eight (28) prizes are as follows:  

● One (1) Slinger Bag, approximate retail value is $550.00; 

● Five (5) $25 electronic gift cards to Tennis Warehouse online store;

● One (1) $100 electronic gift card to TennisTopia online store; 

● Two (2) cases of tennis balls from Wilson retail valued is $89.99

● Five (5) ball caps from Unruly with Mid-Atlantic logo imprinted, retail value is $25;

● One (1) Lather lotion gift set, retail value is $50; 

● Three (3) Mid-Atlantic branded pink long sleeve t-shirts valued at $15 each;

● Two (2) Penn backpack, retail value at $50 each;

● Four (4) Pop-its, retail value is $20 each;

● One (1) Marriott at City Center Newport News two night weekend stay gift valued at $600;

● One (1) Crossin’ the Mains ultimate gift package, valued at $255; 

● Two (2) Match Tuff EZ Score Plus valued at $50 each. 

ODDS: The odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

ENTRY PERIOD: The entry period begins on December 13, 2020, at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) and ends on December 24, 2020, at 11:59 PM ET (the “Entry Period”). 

DRAWING DATE: The Sponsor will determine the winners on or before December 28, 2020 (“Winner”). 

ELIGIBILITY: The Drawing is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. 

Employees of the Sponsor and members of their respective families (parents, siblings, children, and spouse and their respective spouses) and/or those residing in the same household (whether related or not) of each of the above are not eligible to enter or win. By participating in this Drawing, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules. The Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify from this Drawing any entry it believes has violated these Drawing Rules. 

HOW TO ENTER: You may enter only once per day, under method (A) or method (B) below. You may not enter under both methods. 

*This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook. By participating in this promotion, you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any claims.

(A) Engage with USTA Mid-Atlantic on social media during the time period of the contest

To enter the ‘12 Days of Gifting’ give away drawing, like and comment on the ‘12 Days of Gifting’ Facebook post on the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Facebook Page. You will be automatically entered into the Drawing. You can only enter once per day during the Entry Period.

Once submitted, entries become the exclusive property of Sponsor and will not be returned.  Entries will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to the registration email address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider, or other organization (such as a business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted email address. The authorized account holder may be required to provide proof of identity. Any other attempted form of entry is prohibited; no automatic, programmed, robotic or similar means of entry are permitted.

Only (1) entry per person. Individuals that enter under method (A) may not submit mail entries as described in method (B) below.

(B) Mail Entry 

Any eligible person wishing to participate in the Drawing may submit an Entry Form. Each submitted Entry Form must be a three inch by five inch piece of paper that contains your name, complete email address, complete postal address, telephone number, and the words “USTA Mid-Atlantic 12 Days of Gifting.” Entry Forms must be sent to the following address, with proper postage affixed, by regular mail, and postmarked on or before December 24, 2020: 

USTA MAS 

620 Herndon Parkway, Suite 290 

Herndon, VA 20170 

Attention: USTA MAS 12 Days of Gifting

Only one (1) Entry Form per envelope. You may send up to 12  envelopes to enter on each given day. Incorrect, illegible, and incomplete entries are void. Once submitted, Entry Forms become the exclusive property of Sponsor and will not be returned. 

ADMINISTRATION: Sponsor will be responsible for resolving any disputes and rules violations that arise in connection with the Drawing. All decisions by Sponsor regarding the Drawing shall be final and binding in all respects. 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: The Winner(s) will be notified through direct message on Facebook or by electronic mail on December 28, 2020. The Prize will be delivered to the recipient at no expense, within ten (10) days of the Drawing. For the winner of the Slinger Bag, the shipping and handling of that prize will be determined by the manufacturer. USTA Mid-Atlantic will coordinate the shipping and handling with the winner. If Prize/prize notification is returned as undeliverable, such Prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected. In the event of non-compliance with any of these requirements, Prize may be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. Upon verification of eligibility, the Winner will be notified by email and/or phone regarding the details of the Prize. By accepting the Prize, the Winner agrees to accept the Prize in the manner set forth by the Sponsor. The Winner is responsible for all applicable federal, state, and local taxes on Prize. No compensation will be paid in lieu of the Prize. The Sponsor reserves the right to substitute a Prize of equal or greater value if advertised Prize is unavailable. Prize is not transferable, assignable or redeemable for cash. 

By accepting Prize, Winner releases, defends, indemnifies, and holds harmless USTA/Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, dealers, and the directors, officers, employees or agents of any of the above organizations (the “Releasees”) from any and all liability and Releasees will be held harmless by Winner and his/her heirs and executors for any injury including personal injury, death, loss or damages of any kind, arising from the negligence of Releasees or participation in or in connection with acceptance, possession, use, misuse and/or nonuse of any Prize or participation and/or traveling to any Prize-related activities, or any claims based on right of publicity/right of privacy. The Prize is given to the Winner AS IS. The Releasees do not make any warranty, representation, or guarantee, express or implied, in fact, or in law, relative to the use of any Prize, including, without limitation, quality, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. The Releasees accept no responsibility for any additional expenses, omissions, delays, re-routing or acts of any government or authority. The Sponsor reserves the right to modify this Drawing in any way it deems necessary or appropriate. Except where prohibited, by accepting the Prize, constitutes a grant of permission for the Sponsor to use the Winner’s name, voice, pictures, likenesses, and city and state of residence, and any other information provided (with the exception of physical address, email, and phone number) for purposes of trade, publicity, or promotion (except where prohibited) in any medium of communication, including print, Internet, radio and/or television for any purpose, including advertising, promotional, or other purposes, by the Sponsor, its affiliates, partners, and sponsors. All costs and expenses associated with the Prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being provided, including but not limited to lodging, transportation costs, meals, gratuities and other expenses incurred by accepting the Prize are the sole responsibility of the Winner. All Prize details shall be determined in the sole and absolute discretion of the Sponsor. Limit one (1) Prize per person, family, or household. 


VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW: The Drawing is void in any state where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law. This Drawing is subject to any requirements/limitations imposed by Federal or State laws. This Drawing shall be governed and enforced pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, notwithstanding its conflict of law rules.

Happy Holidays 2020

Happy Holidays From USTA Mid-Atlantic

Sending you the warmest of greetings and happy holidays this season!

Happy Holidays from USTA Mid-Atlantic.

Thank you for being a part of our Mid-Atlantic tennis family. We can’t wait to see you on the courts in the new year!

We understand that this year has been anything but normal, but 2020 has taught us resiliency, adaptability, and innovation. It is through the power of tennis that we can continue to make an impact. Learn how you can make an impact before year-end by clicking here.

With gratitude, from all of us, USTA Mid-Atlantic

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