USTA Midwest Named 2018 Section of the Year
December 18, 2018
Because of the ongoing efforts to innovate, promote and grow the game of tennis in the Midwest, the USTA Midwest was named Tennis Industry's 2018 USTA Section of the Year! We are grateful to our dedicated volunteers, Districts and staff that spend countless hours encouraging more people to play the sport we all know and love.
In addition, Midwest had other outstanding 2018 Champions of Tennis. Mark Faber (Toledo, OH) was named USPTA Member of the Year, Doug Cash (Evansville, IN) won the Tennis Industry Service Award, Lornie Kuhle, formerly from Decatur, IL and Chuck Kuhle’s brother, was named Junior Tennis Champion of the Year and A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center in Winnetka, IL was named Multiple Tennis Facility of the Year.
View the issue of Tennis Industry here.
A few highlights from 2018 include:
2018 MIDWEST TENNIS INDUSTRY SUMMIT, AUGUST 15-16, CINCINNATI, OH
“Changing the Perception of Tennis” was the theme of this year’s summit.ADVERTISEMENT
Mission Statement: Bring together established and new industry partners to share ideas, increase cooperation and sustain the growth of tennis while changing the perception of tennis.
Speakers included Ajay Pant, Jim Burda and Tracy Davies; Millennial Panel Members and our Tennis Perception Panel members
Everyone brought their own unique vision and examples of ways to think about future perceptions while evaluating each of our current perceptions as well. The summit challenged attendees to think in new and different ways while encouraging innovative ways to change the perception of tennis.
TENNIS LEGENDARY SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2018, INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Plenty of activities and great giveaways were provided by the USTA Midwest were served up at the Seymour and Rheta Holt Tennis Center at Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience throughout the day on April 7 in Indianapolis.
Over 1,000 children attended the day-long event. The Section gave away 1,000 Net Generation racquets and 1,000 balls to put racquets in their hands and introduce children to the sport of tennis.
Olympic Silver Medalist and ATP player, Rajeev Ram, was involved to give on-court demonstrations and to sign autographs. One of our acclaimed sports legends Barbara Wynne was immortalized in June with a bronze statue along the Old National Bank Sports Legends Avenue of Champions. The local Indianapolis tennis legend also gave pointers on the courts and talked with the children about tennis and its benefits.
LAVER CUP, SEPTEMBER 21-23, 2018, CHICAGO, IL
As part of the mission to bring elite tennis back to the city of Chicago and inspire the next generation of young players, the Laver Cup partnered with the United States Tennis Association to resurface four public tennis courts at Garfield Park. In addition the USTA Midwest has committed $15,000 for youth programming to take place at the refurbished facility.
USTA Midwest staff, in conjunction with USTA national staff, organized and trained 40 junior players from the Chicago area as ball kids. Staff also helped out with Fan Zone, Family Day, and other activities throughout the weekend to help make the Laver Cup successful.
WESTERN & SOUTHERN OPEN, AUGUST 11-19, 2018 CINCINNATI, OH
A team comprised of USTA Midwest staff, local tennis professionals, and volunteers conducted several events and activities to promote tennis. USTA Midwest continued to show great leadership in on-site activation during this event. In addition to hosting a family tennis zone and information booth, numerous community tennis events took place.
For 11 years, the first Saturday of the Western and Southern Open has been all about the kids. Hundreds served up the fun with an eye toward the future. The experience is about sharing the enjoyment of the game with the next generation of tennis fans. We see thousands of kids come through here each year, and you know what, we see a lot of repeat people coming through year after year.
Through games and drills, Kids Day brings the excitement and love of the game to the next generation of players and fans making sure that everyone who participates is a champion.
Area teens got the chance to serve it up with the pros. The annual High School Day opened up the Western & Southern Grand Stand court to high school teams. Association of Tennis Professional Player Francis Tiafoe took some time to go through drills with young players and share his love of the game.
ART COURTS X CHASE: CINCINNATI
In August, the Inner City Tennis Project (ICTP) established in 1986 in Cincinnati, was given the gift of art from the USTA in conjunction with Chase, when their Losantville Triangle courts were transformed into an immersive art experience by local artist collective Xylene.
Centrally located as a jewel of Greater Cincinnati, the courts are often a hub of activity. We are excited about how the Art Courts initiative will help grow the game even further in the area. It will be a showpiece for the city of Cincinnati and for tennis.
NET GENERATION PROVIDERS
USTA Midwest continued efforts to recruit new Net Generation providers increasing the total number of providers by 92% through November 3rd. Registered providers included Certified Coaches (49%) and Teachers (24%).
SINGLE DAY SHOWDOWNS
USTA Midwest launched an exciting new tournament format in 2018 – Single Day Showdowns – which provides junior tennis players more match play without the typical length of a full weekend tournament. These tournaments provide the perfect balance of competition and fun for players, while providing great flexibility for tournament directors and an attractive option for today’s busy tennis families.
SOCIAL TENNIS LEAGUES
USTA Midwest continued to expand social league play for adults in 2018 by offering tennis leagues that provided players an alternative league format that focuses on the social side of tennis play. The leagues provide an environment of fun, friendly competition, and overall player development.
MIDWEST YOUTH TEAM TENNIS
Midwest Youth Team Tennis, the Section’s flagship program for beginner tennis players, entered its 12th year in existence continuing an upward trend in 2018 with registrations increasing by 4%. This low cost 6-week program is run by local parents and volunteers and provides young players with a fun entry into the sport with each player receiving a tennis racquet and ball to take home.This year a new category of Midwest Youth Team tennis was piloted which targeted diverse markets and those needing an even lower cost option.