Community Policing Meets Community Tennis
Janet Glaser, an active member of the USTA Tennis Champion program that catalyzes a connection between tennis and communities through the help of local tennis aficionados, has made it her mission to bring tennis awareness to her community in a highly invitational and accessible way. She has set up banners and displays at local community festivals, placed signage on bike paths and trails and been available to talk and provide information at screenings of the King Richard movie and so much more. Read more about the King Richard viewing parties here.
As one of the program’s efforts to be more inclusive, the USTA gave the Tennis Champions equipment packages of right-sized racquets and balls that they could give away in their communities to families and youth organizations.
Janet was so excited to be able to distribute these gifts within her community and wanted to find a way that they could be used to help the most people possible. Her local area, Wichita, KS, has a Community Policing Department focused on connecting with communities to best understand and serve their specific needs. These community policing officers frequently will host community barbecues and fun gatherings to develop positive relationships between the people of the community built on respect and communication. Janet had the idea to gift the tennis equipment to the department so that the officers could use it to play with kids in the community.
She included her local USTA Tennis Service Representative in the meeting where the equipment was awarded and they began conversations with the department about doing a USTA Community Tennis workshop with the Community Policing officers and supporting the program with more equipment/curricula in the future.
The USTA Missouri Valley is excited for future opportunities to use the sport of tennis to help the development of positive relationships between police and communities.