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USTA Pride Month panel to highlight LGBTQ+ volunteers and leaders in local tennis

June 21, 2021

The USTA's Partners Business Resource Group (BRG) is proud to present 'LGBTQ Life in the Tennis Ecosystem,' a virtual panel event featuring five grassroots tennis activists and administrators in celebration of Pride Month on Monday, June 28.


Hosted by Nick McCarvel, five local USTA leaders - Ashley Massengale, Dave Killian, Jean Telfort, Matt Olson and Melissa Romig - will speak on how they grow the game at the local level through community tennis organizations (CTAs), leadership roles, and recreational and club tennis, for all ages and abilities. 


The panelists' resumes are as follows:

Ashley Massengale: USTA League Nat'l Committee; Board Member, USTA Southern; Past President, USTA Georgia & USTA Atlanta

Dave Killian: USTA Pro Circuit Nat'l Committee; Board Member, Gay Games

Jean Telfort: Founder, Tennis Family Group CTA and NYC Local Organizer, Metropolitan Tennis Group 

Matt Olson: USTA New England Executive Director and former USTA Atlanta Executive Director

Melissa Romig: Founder of 'Novice Night' at Sets In the City Dallas, a CTA founded for lesbian and queer women, open to all players


The expected topics of discussion will include:


- Beyond the pro tour: LGBTQ+ engagement in grassroots tennis

- Pride & passion: How LGBTQ+ staff & volunteers give back to tennis

- Open for all: Tennis as a safe space for all ages & backgrounds

- Get into the game: What's next for LGBTQ+ tennis as the sport surges in the U.S.?


In addition, these leaders will highlight how others can engage the LGBTQ+ community in their local areas, using the sport's momentum from 2020 to get more people of all backgrounds involved in tennis.


While the panel is tailored to USTA staff & volunteers at the national, section, district, and community levels as well as LGBTQ+ staff and volunteers at tennis clubs and elsewhere in the industry and allies, the panel is open to all.


The virtual panel will be held via Zoom from 3 p.m. EST. To register for the event, click here.


Related Articles
  • Five local leaders in USTA sections and districts came together to discuss the LGBTQ+ community in tennis in a virtual panel event hosted by the USTA's Partners BRG to close out Pride Month. Read More
  • Three USTA grassroots volunteers in the LGBTQ+ community, whose dedication to the sport helps to keep our game growing strong, speak in their own words about what tennis and Pride Month mean to them. Read More
  • At the 2022 Gay Games, slated for Hong Kong in November, all are welcome to compete—regardless of skill level or sexual orientation. The 11th edition of the event will continue the Federation of Gay Games’ mission to promote equality, diversity and inclusion through sport. Read More

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