The USTA Florida Section is encouraging Florida residents to get out and play tennis this May and June, as part of the full Phase 1 reopening of the state. The not-for-profit organization, which manages public tennis facilities in Brevard, Okaloosa and Alachua counties, has been working with several cities to resume tennis play.
“I have written the governor’s office and Florida Chamber of Commerce twice during the last month to share safe play guidance and to offer our direct assistance to any city or park that is looking to open and needs help. We have put a lot of work into the resumption of play at our own public tennis facilities. USTA Florida understands the challenges, and we are a great (free) resource for cities and parks who need help,” said Laura Bowen, executive director of USTA Florida.
As state and local governments continue to reopen more parks and recreation options, families are looking for additional options to get out and exercise. USTA Florida wants cities to share with their residents that tennis is a great option for exercise and it can be done with little risk.
“Tennis is an ideal sport for families and individuals to play during this time, and it can be done safely with just a few modifications,” said USTA Florida President Clark Higgs. “We are encouraging municipalities to allow safe tennis play at all public facilities in June.”
When it comes to USTA Florida programs, Bowen and Higgs both say that players will have to wait a little longer to play in local tournaments and leagues. USTA Florida recently surveyed adult league players and found that many are not yet comfortable with resuming play. Likewise, many facility and tournament directors say their facilities are not ready to host these types of programs and events.
“If we can get all of our local facilities open in June and get to a point where players and providers feel comfortable with new processes, I am optimistic that we can resume local programs and events by July 1st,” Bowen estimated. “It all depends on how things go in these first phases.”
For now, USTA Florida has suspended tournaments and Leagues through June 30. The organization will continue to evaluate progress and plans to issue program guidelines in June to help players and providers prepare for a resumption of play.
For more information pertaining to the phased resumption of play, please visit www.USTAFlorida.com/coronavirus.
ABOUT USTA FLORIDA
Established in 1949, USTA Florida is a section of the United States Tennis Association. It is a not-for-profit volunteer organization with approximately 40,000 members, 500 organizational members and a $5 million budget. As the official governing body of tennis in Florida, USTA Florida operates from an executive office in Orlando, with more than 30 staff members and more than 600 volunteers throughout the state working towards a mission to promote and develop tennis for all in Florida. To learn more about USTA Florida visit www.USTAFlorida.com.