April 25th, 2018

Military Families Get Their Tennis On at NAS Jacksonville Glow-in-the-Dark Event

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The tennis courts at Naval Air Station Jacksonville were aglow last Friday night, April 20, 2018 when approximately 75 military, family members and ex-military experienced XGLOsive “Lights Out” tennis on the base courts in Jacksonville, Fla.

Adults, youth and entire families played under black lights with glowing balls, court lines, nets and signage. A D.J. kept things moving with music and directing court games for beginner to advanced players of all ages.

“These type of events are what I’ve dreamed of,” said retired Navy member Theo Lundy, a Duval County Public Schools employee and a part-time tennis instructor who served on the NAS Jacksonville base. “The courts were always kind of empty, and I like to see the courts filled with kids playing. So this here is like a dream come true.”

The event was open to any participant with base access, and all participants received a “Lights Out” glow-in-the-dark t-shirt.

“We are very excited about this event at NAS Jacksonville and creating more play opportunities and partnering with the military for tennis events in Florida,” says USTA Florida Diversity & Marketing Maria Romo. “We’re very thankful for what these military members and their families do for our country.”

Current and former military members also volunteered to assist with on-court games, including barrel-target practice and doubles “King of the Court.”

“I played tennis for the Air Force, and I used to play tennis on these courts back in 1998,” said Lynn Ford,
a USTA Florida volunteer who came from Daytona Beach. “I hope the military families see the closeness of the USTA community, and that in the future this will bring us more events to grow tennis in the military. Tennis in the lives of kids is a great way to get them moving and enrich them for life, mentally and physically.”

NAS Jacksonville and nearby Naval Station Mayport are two of eight major active Florida naval stations, including NAS Pensacola, Pensacola Corry Station and NAS Whiting Field near Pensacola, NAS Key West, NSA (Naval Support Activity) Orlando, and NAS Panama City.

“Military outreach is something we absolutely need to do more of,” said USTA Florida Executive Director Laura Bowen. “Tennis is a family affair, and we are excited and proud to give military families in Florida an opportunity to play tennis and have fun together.”

To find more tennis play opportunities in Florida go to www.ustaflorida.com.