Tennis Grants Improve the Community

It Doesn’t Take Long to Feel the Benefits

“Fun, friendly, cool.” These are the three words 11-year-old Deoz uses to describe tennis – a sport he recently came to fall in love with. After playing lots of other sports, Deoz discovered tennis on his own. He decided to try tennis after school because – in his words – it was just fun. 

“When I first started [tennis], I liked it right away,” said Deoz. “I had to run a lot and that was fun. And the drills and exercises came quickly to me.” 

It doesn't take long to feel the benefits of tennis

When his mom noticed how much Deoz was interested in the sport she decided to get more information about it so that she could help him keep pursuing his interest. It was a fateful conversation at the hair salon that gave her all the information she needed. Another patron told her about the different opportunities available for youth tennis and about local tennis programs offered by the Park and Recreation Department near where they lived in Prince George’s County, Md. She and Deoz decided to check the programs out. 

“I was just wowed by the programs,” said Deoz’s mom. “I had never seen tennis programs to the level they were being offered – camps, individual coaching, team tennis. It was overwhelming at first but then the coach really helped to make it easy to get Deoz going.” 

Soon after a few introductory lessons, Deoz’s tennis skills were progressing and he was able to start playing with other kids, getting more competitive and comfortable. Not only that, Deoz and his mom were impressed by the community surrounding tennis, noticeable by the variety of ages and people that play, courts always in use, and caring people and coaches that paid as much attention to what was happening off the court in Deoz’s life as what was happening on the court. 

They also started to notice the many character-building skills and benefits developing within. 

“I had to do a lot of running drills and that was fun because it got my speed up to race with my friends,” Deoz shared. “Tennis also helped with my focus – you have to focus and know what you are doing in the game. It helped with school and other activities.” 

But the most important lessons he was learning on the court were life-lessons he fully embraced off the court. 

“The biggest lesson I am learning from tennis is to always be fair. You learn to call the ball in or out and that being fair is most important, even in close matches,” he shared. 

As the character-building benefits from tennis just started to shine for Deoz, the unimaginable happened. A pandemic and job loss for Deoz’s mom. She didn’t want this temporary situation to be a concern and impact his ability to continue to play tennis. Deoz’s tennis coach offered a suggestion – apply for a USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship. 

“It was easy to apply for the scholarship and it was so helpful,” she commented. “I wanted to make sure that I could keep Deoz in tennis and that he had something to do.” 

Thanks to generous gifts from the USTA Mid-Atlantic community, scholarships for youth players at any level of the game – even those new to the sport like Deoz – are available. Scholarships help with the cost to take lessons and help nurture the benefits the sport provides. Deoz used the scholarship to keep up with tennis and continue in the classes he was taking and now is shaping his character and future in the sport as well. 

When asked what he would say to those that donate to USTA Mid-Atlantic and support programs such as the Junior Player Scholarship he said: 

“THANK YOU for giving to kids in need. There are a lot of kids in need of scholarships, just like me, that your donations help. Donating helps kids learn tennis, and also learn leadership skills, strategies in thinking, building confidence, and overall development.”

And when asked what he would tell other kids like him about tennis and trying the sport: 

“Definitely try it out! If you are interested, tell someone that tennis is something you want to do – you never know where it will take you until you try it!” 

Can you give a gift to support young players and those children interested in tennis, just like Deoz? Your gift can help children discover something new and gain the character-building benefits only tennis can provide.

Give a gift before the end of the year or join the Serve Squad and make an automatic monthly donation. We need 50 people to join the Serve Squad before the end of 2021. If you step up to the challenge and join, you’ll also be entered into a random drawing for a one-year subscription to TopCourt! 

Give a gift or join the Serve Squad today!  

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

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.

Because Every Child Belongs

Because Every Child Belongs

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section is on a mission to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region by helping people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. Our goal is to bring tennis to all, especially children, in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Thanks to you and your gift your tax-deductible donation directly supports increased access to tennis in the Mid-Atlantic through our programs, such as our Youth After School and Summer Camp Tennis Program, our Safe Places to Play Facility Assistance Program and our Junior Competition Scholarship

This year we continue to invest in the next generation by teaching children the benefits of the sport. Tennis is a lifetime sport and our After School and Summer Camp Programs teach tennis to those that may not have the opportunity to play or learn the game elsewhere. We are building a foundation for children to live a healthy life and to learn character skills that they will use for years to come. Watch this video to learn about our program and how, together, we can put a racquet in the hands of more children…because every child belongs.

Make a tax-deductible donation today to support USTA Mid-Atlantic’s charitable programs. 

A Reason Why

We caught up with David K., an active donor to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, and talked to him about his reasons why he supports the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section. 

How long have you been playing tennis? What do you love about the sport? 

David K.: I started playing tennis in my teens, then later while I was in the U.S. Air Force in Berlin, Germany.  Following my military service, I attended college and went to work as a defense contractor from which I was deployed to many locations throughout the world.  No matter where you go, no matter what country; no matter the environment, you can always find someone who plays tennis. If you cannot find a court, there is always a wall to practice on. In 2018 I decided to try refereeing. This has proven to be a great way to stay in the game and help our youth, plus the referee has the best seat in the house! You can’t get any closer to good tennis!

Why do you choose to donate to the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section? 

David K.: I like to support organizations that I know will put donations to good use and I like to help the youth of today become our leaders for tomorrow. 

Do you feel you are helping make a difference? How? 

David K.: Being a referee in the Mid-Atlantic Section, one has the opportunity to see first hand where the donations go as well as watching our youth compete and improve their skills.

You can show support and directly impact and improve access to tennis for all people in the Mid-Atlantic region by making a tax-deductible donation to the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section. 

Already a donor? What are your reasons why you support USTA Mid-Atlantic? Get in touch and share your “why.” We’d love to feature your story too!

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.