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National

CTA Spotlight: Valley City Tennis Association

Victoria Chiesa | April 13, 2020

For the past 25 years, the Valley City Tennis Association has been making a big difference in a small, close-knit community.

 

Approximately 500 youths and adults participate in tennis programming by the VCTA in Valley City, North Dakota, a community that is made up of less than 7,000 people. Despite being limited to just nine outdoor courts, which are owned by the local parks department and public schools, the group possesses limitless passion and dedication in service to tennis in the Sheyenne Valley community.

 

The VCTA has a long history of supporting USTA programming and training for youth and adults in its community, and works cooperatively with local public schools, park and recreation and the state university to build these opportunities. The group was the first in the Northern section to implement a QuickStart Tennis (10-and-under) program, has run a junior sanctioned tournament for 15 years, and sponsors Junior TeamTennis and Net Generation. The group requires all of its JTT coaches and VCTA board memebers to become Net Generation certified, and works tirelessly with section staff to recruit coaches for its JTT and summer programs. 

 

In addition, the group's close relationship with the USTA's Tennis on Campus program for the past 16 years has offered many mentoring opportunities for players to give back to our youth, who are benefitted by low-cost program fees and scholarships.

 

The VCTA has seen both competitive and social benefits over the course of its two-plus decades. The CTA has mentored its players players through youth, high school and Tennis on Campus competition, having seen two teams qualify for nationals. Social benefits include the interaction of teens and adults in social leagues and JTT, and promoting a healthy and active lifestyle -- even while limited to nine outdoor courts in all types of Midwestern weather. 

 

The VCTA's support of its community has not gone unnoticed by the USTA, and the group has received several small grants to run its annual "Tennis Block Party," a free community event which introduces tennis to residents, and purchase tennis equipment through the years. The group was also awarded court reconstruction grants in 2004 for the local school district, and a second court reconstruction project is currently in process in partnership with the local parks department. 

 

"In a small, rural community that is solely run by volunteers, the VC Tennis Association assures that tennis programming is available for all ages and abilities year around," said VCTA president Erik Kringlie.

 

"I am astounded by the impact we have had on our dedicated tennis community and how we teach players to truly love the game, on and off the court."

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