The USTA Florida Section is pleased to announce the opening of the new “Grow the Game” grants, the next phase of funding to continue supporting the relief, recovery, and rebuilding of the tennis industry in Florida. The grants will assist organizations with the delivery of entry-level programming for new and returning players.
The additional support follows the initial funding effort that began in April 2020 designed to provide immediate relief, spur the tennis industry’s recovery, and help the industry rebuild through a year severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the assistance of the United States Tennis Association, a total of $393,250 in recovery funds were awarded to Florida tennis facilities in 2020.
For 2021, the United States Tennis Association has committed an additional $3 million in “Grow the Game” grants targeted for organizations that attract and engage new and returning tennis players from May to November. The USTA Florida Section has been allocated $156,000 and will work with the USTA and Tennis Industry United to identify and reward organizations that meet grant criteria. The grants are intended to help defray the costs of delivering quality entry-level programs that meet the criteria against some of the following:
- Coaching costs
- Tennis balls, teaching equipment (tubes, carts, hoppers)
- Cleaning/sanitizing efforts (i.e. disposable gloves, disinfectant, cleaning equipment)
- Marketing for tennis programs
- Other tennis-related expenses
“Florida has seen a wealth of new players coming into tennis during the past year,” said Laura Bowen, USTA Florida Executive Director. “We are excited to offer this grant and our staff support as a way to help providers across the state retain those players and continue to offer positive experiences for everyone who steps onto the court this summer and fall.”
To qualify for the “Grow the Game” grants, organizations will be encouraged to develop entry-level programs to engage and retain new or returning players coming to the game, regardless of age. Special emphasis will be placed on those supporting Parks & Rec programs across the country. Grants will be awarded on a sliding scale depending on the number of new and returning players who participate in entry-level programming:
- Band 1 – Between 8-20 players, Grant for $10/player
- Band 2 – Between 21-50, players Grant for $11/player
- Band 3 – Between 51-100 players, Grant for $12/player
- The maximum amount a qualifying organization can receive from USTA Florida is $1,200
“Once an organization applies, a USTA Florida staff member will follow up to offer assistance throughout the process,” added Bowen. “That includes providing support to implement programs that meet the grant criteria, such as USTA Florida’s ‘Love to Learn’ and ‘Love to Play’ products as well as after-school programs; assistance with setting up the program in the Serve Tennis platform; as well as providing general promotional support via the USTA Florida website and mobile app.”
The grant window will be open from May 20, 2021, through October 1, 2021. To learn more about the “Grow the Game” grants and for access to the grant application, please visit www.USTA.com/growthegame.