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USTA Celebrates Eleven Years of May as National Tennis Month by Hosting Tennis Block Parties Nationwide

May 2, 2008 01:21 PM

The USTA announced that in celebration of May as National Tennis Month the USTA will once again hold “Tennis Block Parties” – a nationwide series of tennis festivals to increase tennis participation in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova will kickoff May in New York City with media appearances on May 1st to help promote the community tennis initiative. The eleventh year of Tennis Month comes at a great time for tennis with participation topping the 25 million mark for the first time since the 1990’s. This year for the first time over 200 “Tennis Block Parties” are scheduled across the country.

Hosted at public parks, schools and tennis facilities, “Tennis Block Parties” will feature tennis instruction by skilled teaching professionals and special guests. The “Tennis Block Parties” will also include interactive games and attractions, offering the opportunity to learn and enjoy the benefits of the game. The events are free to the public, and will be for people of all ages and abilities, from lifetime players to those who have never picked up a racquet.

Some “Tennis Block Parties” will also include two of the latest USTA youth initiatives, QuickStart Tennis and Rapid Rally. QuickStart Tennis is the recently launched play format for children ten and under and features equipment, courts and scoring tailored to the age and size of the child.

Rapid Rally is the tennis component of the USOC’s Jr. Olympic Skills Competition and is a national grassroots competition that provides kids ages 8 to 13, the opportunity to showcase their athletic abilities. Contestants in this basic tennis skills event compete against the clock to hit a low compression tennis ball against a wall as many times as possible in 30 seconds.

"It’s an exciting time for tennis with participation on the rise and industry sales experiencing record growth,” said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “Tennis Month provides an ideal platform to raise awareness of tennis and encourage people of all ages and abilities to get out and play.”

Individuals looking to find out if a Block Party is taking place in their area should check out the website www.tennismonth.com. Fans not only will be able to see when a Block Party will take place in their area but will also have the opportunity to read a different feature story each day in a section called “31 Days, 31 Stories.”




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