Mid-Atlantic Named to 2020 Class of Project Play Champions
The USTA Mid-Atlantic Section (USTA MAS), a non-profit organization, is proud to announce acceptance into the 2020 class of the Aspen Institute Project Play Champions. The Project Play Champions program annually recognizes local and national organizations that are taking new, meaningful, and specific actions consistent with the Project Play framework. Specifically, the Section is being recognized for restructuring and expanding the Junior Player Scholarship program to young players at all levels, especially those with financial need, so they can pursue tennis and gain the healthy, lifelong benefits of the sport.
“Growing tennis and increasing access to the sport for all children in every community is a top priority for USTA Mid-Atlantic,” says Tara Fitzpatrick-Navarro, chief executive officer of USTA Mid-Atlantic. “Being a Project Play Champion recognizes the vital role our work is having to give more youth the chance to get active through tennis and experience the tremendous benefits that sports can provide. We are honored to be an integral part of the solution to help make change happen in youth sports, and look forward to continuing to enrich lives physically, emotionally, and socially through tennis in every community in our region.”
The USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship Program is designed to help reduce financial burdens for youth players at all levels.
The Section has provided scholarships for junior players with financial need for several years, but recently saw the opportunity to expand the program to help more children by broadening this program to include players at the beginning, intermediate and advanced level of experience in the sport, and with no requirement for Section Ranking (based on tennis performance and competition). The scholarship program will be launching to help youth as they take steps to get back out on the tennis courts and work on their skills - from training sessions and lessons to virtual classes and more - and the expenses associated.
“We’re strategically focused on finding ways to introduce tennis to more young people, and to do that in a meaningful way means that we have to reduce any barriers to entry,” says Fitzpatrick-Navarro. “Restructuring our scholarship program was mission-critical to help every child get into tennis no matter the community they come from, their level of play, or their financial means.”
The Aspen Institute Project Play is a leading authority in driving change among stakeholders at all levels for more quality, affordable sport activities for all children. USTA Mid-Atlantic upholds the Project Play vision for finding solutions and strategies to ensure that all children can get physically active through sports. Through charitable programs, USTA MAS aims to provide opportunities to experience the lifelong benefits of tennis to everyone by making the sport fun, accessible, affordable, and ensuring quality tennis facilities in more communities.
Eighteen national and local sports organizations comprise the 2020 class of Project Play Champions. Organizations such as the Miami Dolphins, Women’s Sports Foundation, American Youth Soccer Organization, PGA Jr. League and Seattle Parks & Recreation are just a few in the class with the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section. The Project Play Champions will be featured at the Project Play Summit 2020.