Army Reserve Unit in Afghanistan Touched by Tennis
Due to the efforts of tennis enthusiasts and military supporters, the Florida 160th Army Reserve MP Battalion stationed in Afghanistan will soon be playing tennis. More than 100 soldiers will benefit from exposure to the sport with reduced stress, great exercise and lots of fun.
The Suncoast Tennis Foundation, a Community Tennis Association in Pinellas County, Fla., placed collection containers in several tennis facilities to collect donations under the USTA's Adopt-A-Unit program in December 2012. With the assistance of the local USTA Florida Tennis Program Coordinator, containers were distributed to Countryside Country Club, the Henry L. McMullen Tennis Complex, East Lake Country Club, Innisbrook Resort and Shipwatch Tennis Club. To further publicize this effort and increase donations, Innisbrook held a special Adopt-A-Unit tennis clinic on January 11, in conjunction with the Innisbrook Women’s Open, a $25,000 USTA Pro Circuit event. The clinic was organized by Pam Collins, Innisbrook Director of Tennis and Recreation.
To gain admission to the Adopt-A-Unit tennis clinic, participants were asked to bring a one-gallon Ziploc bag full of essentials for the adopted troops. Among items collected from the various tennis facilities and the special clinic were trail mix, instant oatmeal, disposable razors, protein bars, chewing gum, aspirin and other “comfort items” for the military men and women of the battalion.
In total, 94 individual gallon bags were collected. USTA Serves, the national charitable foundation of the USTA will send portable tennis equipment to the adopted unit along with instructions and educational information.