August 19th, 2015

Tallahassee Tennis Blog: Boys Town After-School Tennis for Foster Kids; More


Tallahassee Team-Up Introduces Runners to Tennis

More than 50 former and new players participated in a USTA Florida Section “Team Up” event held at Winthrop Park on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 in Tallahassee.

The goal of the event, catered primarily to the running community through Gulf Winds Track Club, was to attract new players to the game, have existing players meet other players to play with, and to link existing players to social leagues. As a runner and tennis player myself, it was an obvious pairing of the two sports since both primarily focus on fitness and fun in a social setting.

The format of the event involved a rotation to three stations every 20-30 minutes to participate in a new activity staffed by one of the many volunteers including: Jodi Manning and Alex Gold from the USTA Florida Section office; Bobby York, Event Coordinator; Glen Howe and Eunice Rho from the City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Affairs; Mitch Rodgers, local tennis professional; Jerrell Lowery, Zane Hood, and Marlon Toombs from the Venom Foundation; and Sue James, Dennis Kelley, and Carl Weathington representing the Tallahassee Tennis Association and USTA Leagues.

The first 25 participants who registered for the event were treated to a US Open towel and all participants were given the opportunity to hit for a variety of prizes during one of the rotations. The event concluded by raffling off three large gift bags with a USTA membership and explaining to participants how they could register for lessons and/or leagues in the area. Food was catered by Gordos, compliments of USTA Florida.

Bobby York stated. “I was pleased with the participation. Tallahassee has a vibrant tennis community. USTA Leagues are the country’s largest recreational tennis leagues that provide an opportunity for all ages and abilities to compete. Several local teams have recently won championships at the Florida Section and now have the opportunity to play for USTA League National Championships in Arizona and California later this fall. Team-Up events are a great way to introduce new players to the game.”

Boys Town Features After-School Tennis for Foster Children

boys town logoBoys Town North Florida began its second after-school tennis program for approximately 15 foster children who live in one of the group homes located on the organization’s campus in Tallahassee.

Boys Town North Florida has been serving abused, neglected, and/or abandoned children and families since 1983 by partnering with local area agencies and businesses to enhance the quality and variety of care provided in the community.

Boys Town received a grant from the USTA Florida Section last year and is now working with volunteers from the Tallahassee Tennis Association (TTA) and Tallahassee Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Affairs to provide kids an opportunity to play tennis once a week at the LeVerne F. Payne Community Center’s tennis courts off Fourth Avenue.  Play will soon be moved to Saturdays for those children who desire to play more competitively so they can further advance their playing abilities.

Eventually it is hoped that some of these kids will play in organized play such as junior team tennis.