Best Practice: Pro Circuit /Community Tennis Development Events

Best Practice: Pro Circuit /Community Tennis Development Events

Using professional events as a platform to promote, develop and grow the game of tennis and to attract community support. The goals of these events are two-fold:  1) to develop community interest and support for the Pro Circuit events, 2) to introduce tennis to new players and generate interest for USA Tennis programs in the community.

Definition and Example: 
The Coleman Vision Tennis Championships, a $75,000 Women's event is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Highpoint Sports and Wellness site.  The Tournament Director is Molly McGrath

Significance: 

  1. The Coleman Vision Tennis Championships is a not-for-profit event which has designated the Southwest Tennis Foundation as the proceeds beneficiary for 2003.  The money raised is earmarked through the Southwest Tennis Foundation for the continued development of the USA Mid-school League to incorporate any/every mid-school in the league, recruit and train coaches and purchase equipment for the children who need assistance.  This includes the neighboring cities of Santa Fe and Belen.
  2. The Special Olympics of New Mexico will also be involved in the Community Tennis events with a clinic for all of the Special Olympians and with one fund-raising event for the group.
  3. The Community Tennis Association of Albuquerque, a sponsor of the Community Tennis events, organizes their volunteers to: assist with the clinics, set up a booth for information about their organization, and promote the activities, including informing all of their members about the “USTA is Great” event.
  4. The Northern New Mexico Tennis Association, also a sponsor, helps in recruiting the children for the clinics and also provides volunteers to assist with the clinics.  This CTA also runs the USA Mid-school League.

Benefits: 

  1. High success in gaining the support and involvement of local, district, and sectional community tennis associations, schools and other community organizations.
  2. Tournament proceeds support the local USA Mid-school League program.
  3. Learning opportunities for school children in essay and tennis-related design competitions.
  4. Very creative use of publicity and marketing strategies.
  5. Successful involvement of volunteers, and sectional staff.
  6. Successful development of community partnerships that benefits the community tennis, and the Coleman Vision Tennis Championships.
  7. Introduces tennis to hundreds of kids and incorporates very good follow up information and referral to USA Tennis Programs in the area.

Procedure:

  1. Clinics: The USTA is Great Day-Tournament Committee works with mid-school administrations to coordinate busing and field trip plans for school children who will spend the day watching the tournament and participating in school clinics at the Highpoint Sports and Wellness site. 2,000 participants.
  2. It's Elementary: The volunteer director will team up with General Mills in Albuquerque to provide cereal to designated elementary schools. The students will compete in building statues or designs with the cereal, which are representative of the Coleman Vision Tennis Championships.  The winning students will receive savings bonds and tickets to the tournaments. The judges of the competition will be the dignitaries such as the City Mayor or Governor.  1,000 participants.
  3. Sports and Me: The second competition throughout the schools, which will be sponsored and advertised throughout the Albuquerque Journal newspaper is an essay, on "how participating in sports has made a difference in my life." 1,000 participants.
  4. Youth participants will be directed to USA Tennis Programs in the area. The USTA Southwest Section Community Tennis Coordinator is assisting with the clinics and special events. She works with the event coordinator throughout the planning process. She has all the USA Tennis program information available to all who participate. The tournament and the community events occur during the USA Mid-school league. The Mid-school league administrator contacts all of the team coaches and informs them of our tournament events. 
  5. All of the community events are highlighted in both of the tournament brochures. Tournament posters are put out in all the sponsors' business establishments. 
  6. The Albuquerque Journal (newspaper) will promote the essay competition.
  7. The tennis newspapers Sun Country (Albuquerque's newspaper) and Sun Tennis (Southwest's tennis newspaper) will have articles and invitations to the clinics and USTA is Great Day. All activities are placed on the tournament website, the Wellbridge website and USTA Southwest website. 

People Involved: 

  1. A USPTA Tennis Professional will coordinate the USTA is Great Day clinics for the Special Olympics of New Mexico and for the two USA Mid-school leagues. 
  2. The USTA  Southwest Section Community Tennis Coordinator, Tournament Players and the University of New Mexico Women's Tennis Team and other local USPTA professionals donate their time for the clinics.
  3. The weekday clinics will be conducted by USPTA Professionals, the USTA Community Coordinator and Tournament players.  Local CTA volunteers are involved with the field trip for the children and many other activities as listed above.

Timing:
Planning begins a year in advance to have everything in place to submit for the community involvement grant.

Cost: 

  • Busing of school children: $2400 for 12 schools, $100/bus/day
  • Clinic fees (professional players):  $1,200
  • Coordinator's fee:  $500
  • T-shirts (700 x $5): $3,500
  • Brochures to USTA members: $2250
  • EE Bonds for contests: $400
  • Racquets: $200
  • Prizes: $500
  • Postage:  $800
  • Food:  $475
  • Total:  $12,225

Contacts:

  1. Community Tennis Association of Albuquerque (CTA) - Sponsor
  2. USTA/Northern New Mexico Tennis Association (CTA) - Sponsor
  3. Section/District Staff - Sara Stablein and Bev Bourget

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