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Missouri Valley / St. Louis

Community Development Grant Applications Due April 15

Josh Sellmeyer | January 27, 2021


USTA St. Louis Board of Directors is encouraging interested parties to submit their application for the 2021 USTA St. Louis Community Development Grant. Applications are due by April 15.


A link to the grant application can be found here


Grants provide funding or equipment (tennis racquets and balls) to assist community programs happening throughout the St. Louis region this spring, summer and fall. USTA St. Louis Executive Director Mary Vassar said a majority of grant dollars help fund junior programs — particularly beginner programs where participants are introduced to tennis at the red, orange and green ball levels.


“Why do we do it? We are unable to reach all of these kids out in the community,” Vassar said. “We rely on our community partners to keep the ball rolling. And to introduce this great sport to as many kids as possible.”


Grant recipients must be USTA members and need to include a program biography with their grant application. USTA St. Louis — which gives out grant funding annually — offers these grants to a variety of programs such as schools, youth progression and special populations. Programs offering junior tennis are required to run at least one Junior Circuit event.


“Our community partners are able to reach a broad and diverse population that we appreciate,” Vassar said. “Many times it is in underserved neighborhoods with limited community dollars to spend. We are there to help their effort.”


All applying youth tennis providers must be registered on Net Generation and certified via USTA Safe Play to ensure the safety of participating children. Acquiring Safe Play approval is a three-step process: watch educational videos (and pass a test afterward), agree to the USTA policy on Safe Play and pass a National Center for Safety Initiatives background check. There is no charge to attain Safe Play certification. A link to the USTA Safe Play website can be found here.


If an applicant earns selection for a grant, half of the money is provided upfront. The other half is issued after the program completes a write-up of how activities went and what could be improved upon for future years. A budget summary, including projected income and expenses is a required component of the application.


“Everybody, including us, struggled last year because of COVID-19. We know the grant dollars will be even more important this year,” Vassar said. “While we were hit, we do know this funding is crucial. We intend to provide the grant dollars that we can, that we’re able to.”


Any questions pertaining to USTA St. Louis grants can be directed to the district office: 314-432-3990 or



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