The National League of Cities (NLC) and the national body of the USTA have selected the City of Orlando, along with Los Angeles, Calif. and Grand Rapids, Mich., to pilot a new program that uses organized tennis instruction in elementary and middle schools to promote children’s physical activity, teamwork, communication and problem-solving skills.
“USTA Florida is excited to partner with the City of Orlando and the National League of Cities to bring new tennis after-school programs to three city schools,” said Laura Bowen, USTA Florida Executive Director. “With training, education, equipment and support from After-School All-Stars, this initiative expands on our already strong partnerships with the Orlando Tennis Center and the Parramore Community.”
Under the pilot program, Orlando will have the opportunity to expand the city’s already successful after-school tennis program with Parramore’s ACE school, where 37.5% of the students involved have seen an increase in their academic GPA since participating in the program.
“Through our youth programs, the City of Orlando is committed to providing opportunities to help our young residents thrive, said Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer. “We’re grateful for our partnership with the NLC and USTA’s Net Generation, which will help students stay active and build self-esteem as they learn the sport of tennis.”
The support from the USTA and the NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) will bring at least two six-week sessions of quality tennis instruction to the After-School All-Stars program at Howard Middle School, with other sites to follow using Net Generation curriculum and coaching support. All participating programs will receive free state of the art tennis equipment and provider training. The goal is to provide tennis exposure to as many children and youth as possible to not only keep them healthy but to encourage learning new skills.
“We could not be more excited to partner with the National League Cities as we make the game of tennis accessible to families across the country,” said Craig Morris, USTA Community Tennis Chief Executive. “As we look to get more kids in the game through Net Generation we are looking forward to welcoming more cities into the partnership in the coming years.”
Net Generation aims to inspire the next generation of tennis players by embracing all aspects of youth play for kids ages 5-18. The objective of Net Generation is to provide a child-friendly, safe connection to the sport, as well as a platform to celebrate individuality and self-expression. Net Generation makes it easier for kids and their parents to learn about tennis and get into the game in schools, parks and tennis clubs across the country. To learn more or to join the movement, visit NetGeneration.com.