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“CELEBRATE TENNIS” on May 1 at Lincoln Tennis Center at Stone Mountain

April 15, 2002 05:22 PM

By Amy Binder and Marc Kaplan

Since May is USA Tennis Month it’s time to Celebrate Tennis Atlanta! The Greater Atlanta Inner City Games, the Atlanta Community Tennis Association, the USTA Southern Section, and the Georgia Tennis Association are working together to organize a city-wide tennis festival to kick off the month. The event, titled Celebrate Tennis Atlanta, will take place Wednesday, May 1 at the Lincoln Tennis Center at Stone Mountain. This fun-filled event is designed to promote and introduce the sport of tennis to children, adults, and families throughout the Atlanta area.

Celebrate Tennis Atlanta© Copyright

Sam Crenshaw, the weekend Sports Anchor for WXIA-TV in Atlanta (NBC - Channel 11) has been named as spokesperson for Celebrate Tennis Atlanta and will be on site at the Lincoln Tennis Center on May 1 to participate in on court activities, free tennis lessons, and the USA Team Tennis media/celebrity exhibition. This is Crenshaw’s second year as the event’s official spokesperson.

Crenshaw, a Georgia native and an active tennis player, joined 11Alive News in September of 1998 and serves the station as sports anchor for 6 & 11 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday evening. Crenshaw also currently serves as the anchor for "Black College Sports Today" on ESPN, a weekly program that focuses on athletics at the nation's historically black universities.

“I have a deep love and appreciation for tennis and am thrilled to once again be a part of this event,” said Crenshaw. “It is truly the sport for a lifetime and I am always urging others to get on the court and give it a try. With the recent accomplishments of the young American players on the tour, the buzz around professional tennis is phenomenal. USA Tennis Month is the perfect way to transfer that excitement to the grassroots level.”

Celebrate Tennis Atlanta is divided into three sessions:

Morning Session – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Over 600 metro Atlanta elementary school students will participate in on court games and activities and FREE TENNIS LESSONS. In addition, Hands On Atlanta will be providing volunteers to read age-specific books to the children. Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog will also be on hand to entertain the group, as well as the Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks mascots and inflatable games. Contests will take place and prizes will be given out.

Afternoon Session – 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Over 500 school children in Greater Atlanta Inner City Games programs will participate in on court tennis activities as well as reading stations. In addition, Inner City Games will host other sport stations, such as Soccer and Gymnastics.

Evening Session – 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
The evening session is open to the public and will feature on court activities, prizes, giveaways, and music. USA Team Tennis media and celebrity exhibition will take place on stadium court. Participants include 2000 Australian Open Doubles champion Ellis Ferreria, rising ATP Tour star Robby Ginepri, sports anchor Sam Crenshaw, and other local media celebrities and top Atlanta junior and adult tennis professionals.

The Greater Atlanta Inner City Games (GAICG) is dedicated to providing opportunities for inner city youth to participate in sports, education, cultural and community enrichment programs that build confidence and self-esteem while having fun. GAICG is committed to Celebrate Tennis Atlanta as their annual signature event and aims to reward kids in their program by bringing them to this event. They will host clinics in golf and soccer as well as a gymnastics clinic by Kids Gym USA. With a multitude of programs serving over 20,000 youths, GAICG teaches value of life lessons by bringing young people from different cultures and pulls them on equal playing fields.

Hands On Atlanta (HOA), a local non-profit organization that supports volunteer opportunities, is teaming up with the USTA in USA Tennis Month. HOA has facilitated a donation of 1,200 books to the event through Scholastic, Inc., the largest publisher and distributor of children’s books in the world. HOA Reading Coaches will be at the event conducting reading sessions with the school students. Every child who steps on the court will receive a book to take home. The event intends to increase the awareness of tennis through the promotion and growth of the sport, while emphasizing the importance of reading and education.

"We are thankful to be working with great organizations like Greater Atlanta Inner City Games, Hands On Atlanta, and Scholastic and are deeply appreciative of the support by Publix and the Sports Authority,” said Matt Olson, Program Coordinator for the USTA Southern Section. "This event is the perfect opportunity for people interested in learning how to play tennis to come out and get involved in the sport. It should be a fun and exciting day for new and old players alike."

About Atlanta Community Tennis Association

The Atlanta Community Tennis Association is a not-for-profit organization which began as a grass roots tennis program for adults. Currently, it runs the largest USA League Tennis program in the nation. To learn more about ACTA programs and services, visit www.actatennis.com.

About the Greater Atlanta Inner City Games

The Greater Atlanta Inner City Games is dedicated to providing opportunities for inner city youth to participate in sports, education, cultural and community enrichment programs that build confidence and self-esteem while having fun. With a multitude of programs serving over 20,000 youths, GAICG teaches value of life lessons by bringing young people from different cultures and pulls them on equal playing fields. For more information about the Greater Atlanta Inner City Games visit www.innercitygames.org.

About the USTA Southern Section
Founded in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is the national governing body for the

sport of tennis in this country. In addition to owning the US Open and selecting members of the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, and Olympic teams, the USTA administers a variety of programs nationwide for players of all ages and ability levels. A not-for-profit organization, the association is divided into 17 sections, of which the USTA Southern Section is the largest. The 152,000 USTA members living in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee make up the USTA Southern Section, and accounts for more than 25% of the total USTA membership. A professional staff housed in Norcross, GA carries out the USTA Southern Section’s daily operations, but policy is formed and much of the organization’s work is executed via a Board and committee structure of over 200 volunteers. For more information about the types of programs and services offered by the USTA Southern Section call 770-368-8200 or visit www.southerntennis.com.

About Georgia Tennis Association

The Georgia Tennis Association is comprised of over 200 tennis and park and recreation organizations. GTA has 173 USA School Tennis Programs and over 50,000 USA League Tennis participants and has dispersed over $250,000 in grant money last year. To learn more about the Georgia Tennis Association, visit www.gatennis.com.
 

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