Tennis is Growing in Local Communities

With the Help of Parks and Recreation  

At the center of every community are parks and recreation. Within those parks and recreation organizations space exists a history of thousands of stories, experiences, memories, and more.  As part of the annual celebration of Park and Recreation Month,  USTA Mid-Atlantic is excited to celebrate tennis growing in local communities and share stories of the joy of experiencing and providing tennis in public parks in our local region to ALL.  

Each Park and Recreation department in the Mid-Atlantic is unique in their approach but share one common mission – to include everyone, no matter ability, location, background, or resources, in their community tennis programming. This is a shared value with USTA Mid-Atlantic and aligns with our vision for tennis in EVERY community. Park and Recreation programs grow the game for every level, and some are doing it with the help of the “Grow the Game Grant” from USTA, which rewards providers who offer entry-level tennis programs to everyone in the community. 

Read below to learn about park and recreation  providers from the Section on a mission to bring tennis to everyone in their local community:  

DCDPR

DC Department of Parks and Recreation’s mission is to promote health and wellness; conserve the natural environment; provide universal access to parks and recreation services. 

We caught up with Andrew Acquadro, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation’s Citywide Tennis Director, to give some insight into their department’s approach to tennis and share his story as part of  Park and Recreation Month. 

Kids Playing Tennis with DCDPR - Tennis Growing in local communities

“It’s important to celebrate National Parks and Recs Month so people can learn about all the fantastic low-cost public programs there are available in the community,” Andrew said. “Tennis is generally associated with needing a lot of money to learn how to play, so finding out what’s offered to the public [at a low cost]  through Parks & Rec is that much more important… DC Parks & Recreation offers so many different types of athletic and educational programs to the community and it’s amazing!”

There is no shortage of other programs offered by DC DPR. 

“[We] offer all types of tennis and pickleball programs in order to keep things fresh for all residents of all ages. Over 90+ clinics and events located in all 8 Wards of the city,” said Andrew. 

All ages, levels, and abilities can find their place on the court with DC DPR. Plus, players have the opportunity to take advantage of free match play days to better their skills on the court. 

“We also offer, “Pop-Up” tennis and pickleball socials, adaptive tennis, after-school programs, community outreach, and more! The cost for our programs is one of the lowest in the nation for a high-quality program,” he added. 

The low-cost and easily available programming at DC DPR enables everyone in the DC area to come to try tennis. Because of this approach, they are seeing a growing demand for the sport. “It is important to keep growing the game of tennis and put DC on the map for exceptional programming! We are currently putting together an elite junior tennis team so kids living in DC have an opportunity to compete with some of the other great junior programs in the area,” Andrew said. 

Tennis is growing in the local community with the help of DCDPR

“USTA Mid-Atlantic has always been a huge supporter of DC DPR. It is great to partner with them,” said Andrew. 

Andrew offered this tip when seeking tennis in DC, “If you’re looking for tennis opportunities at the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, make sure to look for the tall, bald, tattooed tennis director and come say hi! I am always looking to help players find their place on the tennis court.” 

In addition to DC DPR, here are a few other notable Parks and Rec providers located in the Section.

MONTGOMERY PARKS 

Similar to DCDPR, Montgomery Parks in Wheaton, Maryland offers tennis classes year-round. They operate two indoor tennis facilities that enable them to run plenty of tennis programs for all ages and levels. Their mission as a park and recreational facility is to balance the demand for recreation with the need for conservation. They strive to provide recreational activities while encouraging healthy lifestyles and providing a clean, safe, and accessible place. 

TOWN OF HERNDON PARKS & RECREATION

Town of Herndon Parks & Recreation in Herndon, Virginia set forward a goal to enhance the community by providing accessible and valued parks, facilities, and recreation programs. In 2020, tennis surged across the Section. The Mid-Atlantic tennis player is more likely to play at a public park or another venue versus any other location (2021 USTA Tennis Participation Report – Mid-Atlantic Section). With the continued growth of tennis in the area, they have expanded their programs to meet the interest level. One way they are growing the game is by opening their new indoor tennis facility on September 27, 2021. Plus, the outdoor courts will be open during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. 

Ladies playing tennis with DCDPR

Behind every community, there is a park and recreation department that helps bring happiness and joy to people. If you’re looking for ways to become engaged and join in tennis in your local area, make sure to check out your local Parks and Recreation. These local providers are supporting the growth of tennis in the Mid-Atlantic.  

The USTA Mid-Atlantic thanks Andrew Acquadro from DC DPR for taking the time to highlight their programs for the celebration of Parks and Recreation Month. 

Looking for more ways to get involved in tennis? Visit www.usta.com/midatlantic. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It’s committed to promoting the physical, social, and emotional health benefits of tennis. Learn about our impact in the Section and how USTA Mid-Atlantic creates community, character, and well-being.

Save the Date for Virtual Bingo

Virtual Bingo with USTA Mid-Atlantic

Fill Your Time with Fun!

Mid-Atlantic tennis players, we know you’ve got a competitive spirit.  We see it out on the tennis courts all the time! 

How about we put that competitive spirit into action for a good cause? You can count on the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section to help you have fun on the tennis court, now let’s have some “off-court” fun and end this crazy year on a high note by playing Mid-Atlantic virtual Bingo together!

Save the Date for virtual Bingo

Grab your tennis friends and join us online for an evening of fun and prizes with Mid-Atlantic virtual bingo. For just $15 you’ll play three rounds of Bingo for a chance to win exciting prizes each round. All proceeds from the entry fee will support USTA Mid-Atlantic’s charitable tennis programs such as the Junior Player Scholarship Program, Safe Place to Play grants, and more!

The Details:

  • WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, December 3, 2020
  • WHERE: The comfort of your home! 
  • HOW: Click here
  • PRIZES you’ll be playing for:

(1) Wilson racquet of winner’s choice, (1) USTA Mid-Atlantic League Registration Credit for 2021 up to $100, (1) Deluxe Wine tasting for 2 experience at Doukenie Winery ($118 value), (2) $25 Tennistopia gift cards(3) Pop-it Sets  

Share this with your friends and invite them to B IN this Great cOmpetition! Make sure you check back to see a list of prizes that you may have a chance to win!

In the meantime, learn how your donation could make an impact in the Mid-Atlantic tennis community.

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.

Summer Tennis Successes - Kids Jumping

Summer of Tennis Successes

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). 

And we are keeping that momentum going through the end of 2020. We know that tennis has the power to continue to bring us all together, which is why we are continuing to make an impact before the year ends so we can grow tennis in the Mid-Atlantic for the next generation. Click here to learn more.

We also learned how to be resilient, adapt and innovate in 2020, which influenced how we ran our Summer tennis programs this year.

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.  

Summer of tennis successes in youth programs.

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. 

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 played tennis through recreation programs offered in two neighboring communities. 
  • 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. 

Virtual tennis: 

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.

Support the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Scholarship

Give the Gift of Opportunity to Youth Players

A Testimonial to the Mid-Atlantic Junior Scholarship Program, from Grace T.

When you make a gift to the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, a charitable non-profit organization, you are helping to give the gift of opportunity to children and youth players in the region. You give the opportunity to not only learn and love tennis but to help children explore opportunities for future success that come by playing the sport. 

Grace T. scholarship recipient and shares why you should support the Mid-Atlantic Scholarship Program.

Specifically, when you give a gift, it can support the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship Program which helps cover tennis-related expenses for young players in need. Your gift helps real young people like Grace T., who received a scholarship from USTA Mid-Atlantic and had this to say about her award.

Read her responses below: 

USTA Mid-Atlantic: What do you love about playing tennis? 

Grace: I love tennis because I get to compete against various leveled players and also meet new people. Tennis has helped shape my character and helped me overcome physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges. I think tennis differs from other sports because it’s something that you could play forever. It’s a well-rounded sport and a high-impact activity; it requires endurance, quick movements, coordination, etc.

USTA Mid-Atlantic: After receiving a scholarship from USTA Mid-Atlantic, how has that enabled you to further your game or made an impact for you?

Grace: As a high-level player, receiving this scholarship helped defray the costs of travel expenses, tournament fees, and training. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic: Why do you think people should support the Mid-Atlantic junior scholarship program?

Grace: People should support this program because it gives youth the chance to participate and learn the sport. As players improve and advance, they may face financial burdens with training, competing, or traveling.

USTA Mid-Atlantic: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from tennis that you take with you off the court?

Grace: Every tournament I’ve played is a learning experience and tennis has taught me many lessons along my journey. It teaches you about resilience, responsibility, and commitment. 

Tennis has helped shape my character on and off the court and taught me to be ambitious. Tennis has allowed me to push through physical, mental, and emotional challenges I face during matches. 

Above all, tennis is a way for me to stay engaged with the community and stay active. 

Grace T. scholarship recipient and shares why you should support the Mid-Atlantic Scholarship Program.

There are many players in the Mid-Atlantic region just like Grace T., that need support to keep playing the game that they love. Right now, your gift can be the help that someone needs. Learn how below.

Make a tax-deductible donation and help young tennis players take their first tennis lesson or try their skills in a tournament. You can be the one that makes a difference and helps more kids gain access to tennis in a time when they need it most. Donate today! 


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.

Teaching Moments from Tennis

Teaching Moments from Tennis, by Autumn Schiff

Tennis is an important staple in Autumn Schiff’s life. She is an avid player, fan, and this year she coached USTA Mid-Atlantic’s summer youth programs – teaching the next generation the life-long benefits of the sport. As she completed her summer coaching, she reflected on the important “teachable moments” you get from playing tennis, which are especially reinforced when you are teaching the sport to someone new to the game.

Lessons like “approach, and put it away” or “stand tall and play to win” not only help guide a person’s tennis game but can be applied to everyday life too.

Autumn writes about her favorite teaching moments from tennis she has learned over the years and how you can apply them directly to your life.

Read more below:

Play for Love: Who couldn’t like a game that literally starts with love? The origin of this term in tennis is a mystery.  I prefer to think it is based on the idea of playing for the “love of the game” and  being a good sport.
Autumn Schiff and her daughter playing tennis.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball:  t his one is an obvious metaphor, but so true. If you take your eye off the ball [whether in tennis or in life] for even one second, you miss your shot. Stay focused!
Autumn’s first tennis tournament in 1990, she is pictured on the left.
Dig Deep and Stay Light on Your Toes: This concept requires you to stay strong, but exhibit grace. Or as leadership expert Brené Brown says, “lead with a soft front and a strong back.”
A photo of Autumn on the tennis court this summer.

Each lesson that Autumn has learned has been helpful for both her tennis game and strategy as well as her life and career. She applies what she learns on the court to how she navigates through life off the court.

To read Autumn Schiff’s full blog go to http://www.careercharters.com or click here. And let us know what life lessons you have learned from playing tennis. Share your story with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or by emailing Megan Driscoll at driscoll@mas.usta.com.

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”

Arthur Ashe