New England Tennis Weekend a Success
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | November 8, 2016
NEWPORT, RI- After nearly a year of planning, USTA New England hosted its first New England Tennis weekend at the Hyatt Regency in Newport, RI from November 11-12. More than 200 guests attended the two-day conference that combined elements with the annual USTA League Workshop.
Tennis Weekend featured a slate of informational sessions covering a variety of important topics, renowned motivational speakers and networking opportunities.
“It was great to see everyone from so many different facets of tennis come together,” said Sarah Rice, USTA New England Manager of Community Development. “We didn’t know what to expect coming in, but the feedback we got was amazing. Attendees shared with us how impressed they were with the sessions, how great the speakers were and the professionalism in which the event was run. ADVERTISEMENT ”
Sessions were led by both USTA National and New England staff as well as industry experts.
USTA Youth Organization Strategist, Bill Rennie, led the session, Parent Organized Play, which featured an overview of a new tennis initiative to activate parents as tennis program organizers.
To encourage innovation within adult recreation, Stacey Percival, Manager, USTA National Championships, presented on successful flexible formats around the country.
The Let’s Get them Playing session was a team effort led by USTA National Director, Junior Tournaments, Bill Mountford and Director of Junior Development at the Manchester Athletic Club, Dave Colby. They focused on creative ways to run Junior Team Tennis and short round robin tournaments.
USTA Director of High School Tennis, Glenn Arrington, explored the current status of high school tennis across the country in the Don’t Be A High School Dropout session.
USTA New England Director of Marketing, Alex Hinckley, led the session entitled, Love Thy Neighbor, where she explored how to identify potential community partners and using them to generate revenue and offset costs. She, along with USTA New England Marketing Coordinator, Mary Cain and Communications and Engagement Coordinator, James Maimonis, led the Let’s Tell Your Story session, where the focus was public relations and exploring how attendees can find their voice to tell their story and how to use it to their advantage in promoting their business.
Lastly, Toni Wiley, Executive Director of Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center, led the Community Outreach session. She explained how she engages new partners and grows participation at her 2015 USTA New England Organization of the Year.
“Every day these speakers go above and beyond to grow tennis at a local or national level, and this weekend they did a remarkable job sharing relevant information with audience members who want to do the same,” said Scott Steinberg, USTA New England President and CEO. Steinberg led a panel discussion with all speakers during the event.
Eight-time national water ski champion and acclaimed author David Benzel was the event’s keynote speaker. He led two presentations: How Individuals Go from Good to Great and Turning Parents Into Partners. Benzel focused on the importance of positive thinking during his presentations.
The audience also heard from two-time Paralympian in tennis, Karin Korb who shared her experiences playing and coaching wheelchair tennis and thriving in life with a disability. She spoke about: Finding Alignment Between Work and Purpose: Community Engagement and Creating a Life of Impact in her motivational talk.
USPTA and PTR held on-court sessions down the street at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, where members could participate in a training for credit.
Sponsor KYSEK and vendors Grand Slam Tennis Tours, Recycle Balls and Gigi Fernandez all set up booths in the vendor area to display and demonstrate their current products and initiatives. USTA New England also held a drawing that included gift cards, Babolat gear and tickets to the US Open.
In addition, all guests enjoyed three full meals, a cocktail hour, a mix and mingle and a USTA New England gift bag.
“We’ve wanted to do this type of event for a long time, and the reception we got reaffirmed how much it was wanted and needed in the New England tennis community,” Rice said. “I already can’t wait to improve this event for next year and see it grow even more in the future.”
Next year’s Tennis Weekend will be held from November 10-11 in Ogunquit, ME.
To view the full photo gallery from New England Tennis Weekend, click here.