USTA Presents at Missouri Convention for PE Teachers
Michael Marotta — USTA Missouri and USTA St. Louis Tennis Service Representative — presented and had a vendor booth set up at the 2021 MOSHAPE Convention, which took place November 12-14 in Lodge of the Four Seasons at the Lake of the Ozarks.
About 150 individuals attended the annual MOSHAPE (Missouri Society of Health & Physical Educators) Convention, an event targeted toward the educational development of PE teachers working in Missouri schools from preschool through high school. It was Marotta’s second time attending the convention with his last appearance coming in 2019, while the USTA has had representation there for several years.
“It went really well,” Marotta said. “It’s a good event. It gets a lot of people connected who can brainstorm and figure out ways to be more productive with their own programming. Particularly for the USTA it’s an easy, no-brainer convention to attend and showcase our offerings. Once people hear about our program, they’re definitely sold on it. They want to be a part of it as quickly as they can.”
Marotta’s presentation had a solid turnout with about 20 people in attendance. He did a demonstration on the tennis court as well as highlighted the benefits of USTA and what the organization can offer in the school space. Marotta showcased the USTA’s free resources for teachers. He also delved into next-generation curriculum for PE teachers and discussed equipment kits and grant offerings.
“The biggest takeaway from it is grassroots tennis,” Marotta said. “Being able to put more racquets in kids’ hands. Give them that outlet and avenue — especially in a safe environment at a school with a teacher they trust. They can have those standards that are in place.”
Marotta interacted with an additional 50 people as part of the USTA vendor exhibit he hosted. While Missouri physical education teachers are the core demographic, Marotta noted school district PE coordinators and athletic directors sometimes parachute in as well. As do some PE teachers from neighboring states.
“The vendor booth went really well,” Marotta said. “People who stopped by got some cool giveaways. We were able to chat a little bit about what they have going on with their programming. And then figure out what might be the best steps for them and how they can take advantage of our resources.”
MOSHAPE is a state organization that falls under the umbrella of the national SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America. SHAPE America serves more than 200,000 health and PE educators across the U.S. and was founded in 1885. The organization helped develop and owns the National Health Education Standards.
Marotta said SHAPE America and MOSHAPE are keen to provide educational opportunities for their members so they can improve their curriculum and implement new programming. He is looking forward to what may happen as a result of the MOSHAPE Convention.
“We’re excited for what’s going to become of it,” Marotta said. “I think there are going to be a lot of schools that take part in some tennis in their PE programs.”
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