2017 USTA Midwest
CTA State Awards
USTA Midwest | December 21, 2017
Congratulations to the four Midwest winners of 2017 State Community Tennis Association Awards!
Manitowoc County Tennis Association (MCTA): Wisconsin
The MCTA was formed and incorporated in 2013 with a mission to focus on tennis providers in the county. As a “coalition” CTA, MCTA does not have its own courts but works through its network of community partners including schools, city parks & recreation department, YMCA and independent tournament directors. MCTA provides programming, organizational expertise, instructional and financial resources, grant writing and connection with the USTA.
MCTA also advocates for facility improvement, recently completing a $225K project that completely refurbished older, dilapidated courts at Citizen Park in Manitowoc. The facility now includes 10 & Under courts, new fencing and shelters. In addition, MCTA coordinated summer tennis programs for the City of Manitowoc and City of Two Rivers, and is part of a summer school program in Manitowoc. MCTA helps facilitate school league teams, interclub play, team tennis programs and a variety of USTA programs for all ages.ADVERTISEMENT
Central Illinois Tennis Association (CITA): Illinois
The Central Illinois Tennis Association’s mission is to promote and grow the sport throughout central Illinois with a focus on youth tennis. The CTA coordinates 3-4 Midwest Youth Team Tennis programs each year, Junior Team Tennis leagues and junior tournaments. This year it expanded its reach, running a Game. Set. Money. adult tournament and a Team Up event. It also helps coordinate local adult Leagues and Start/ReStart Tennis adult beginner programs. CITA also focuses on community outreach, conducting free clinics at schools and for other organizations. This year, CITA conducted a free clinic for local Girl Scouts and participated in several other community events including the Illinois State Fair, which included a booth and hands-on activities and drills.
EntouRaj for Kids: Indiana
EntouRaj for Kids began in 2010 when professional tennis player Rajeev Ram, based in Carmel, Ind., partnered with a local tennis organization to raise money for college scholarships and tennis programs. Four years later, EntouRaj for Kids became in independent 501(c)3 organization and awarded its first grants to young players needing financial assistance. This year, EntouRaj for Kids provided grants to several area high schools to help offset team expenses, including Bishop Noll (Hammond) and Arlington H.S. (Indianapolis). The organization also hosted a free tennis clinic for inner city high school students in Indianapolis on Dec. 5.
In addition to supporting the development of young players through grants and scholarships, the organization works to foster interest in professional tennis within the community by hosting an annual exhibition that features professional players along with Ram. Guests have included Andy Roddick, James Blake and the Bryan brothers.
People for Palmer Park: Michigan
People for Palmer Park is a non-profit organization that began in 2010 as part of an initiative to save and revitalize Palmer Park, one of 77 Detroit, Mich. parks that were scheduled to be closed due to lack of funding. Local tennis players and other activists organized a peaceful march in protest of the closings, and as a result the 296-acre park was not closed (nor were any other parks). Just one year later, in 2011, the organization was formed and the Palmer Park Tennis Academy began offering a variety of programs and activities.
Palmer Park Tennis Academy began as a program for kids age 10 and under with 35 children participating. The program now has 100 participants each summer, with many continuing through the winter. This summer the Academy coordinated eight scrimmages against other summer programs. Leaders took some participants to local tennis tournaments including the Boys National Championships in Kalamazoo and other college matches. This year an educational component was added to the program which gave participants the opportunity to learn African American music history – taught by University of Michigan Adjunct Profession Marion Hayden - while also learning the fundamentals of tennis. A local judge also gave a presentation on mental toughness. At the end of the session, a concert (and fundraiser) was put on by the students who had learned to play traditional African instruments. The organization also ran a Start/ReStart adult beginner program this summer.