June 25th, 2019

USTA Florida President’s Message: June Pride Month


By Clark Higgs, USTA Florida volunteer President

The mission of USTA Florida is “to promote and develop tennis for all.”

As a core value, we believe in providing opportunities for everyone to participate in the game of tennis, regardless of skill, age, physical ability, gender, ethnicity, economic background or sexual orientation.  June is Pride Month and another opportunity to celebrate the diversity of, and within, the Florida Section. Diversity of its players and members, providers, administrators, volunteers and staff throughout the state.

We have a long history of supporting diversity by promoting a wide variety of groups, including the LGBTQ community over the past 10 years or so.

This involvement started with the Miami Mavericks Tennis Club. The Mavericks have hosted the Miami Art Deco Open Tennis Championships for 24 years. Competitors come from around the world to play in this event, held at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on Key Biscayne, the former home of the Miami Open, each January. USTA Florida is one of many proud sponsors of the Art Deco Open. In addition to this tournament, the Mavericks host several other tournaments and provide a variety of other tennis programs including organized recreational play, ladders and team tennis throughout the year.

Other organizations with whom USTA Florida is associated include the Orange Blossom Tennis Association, located in the greater Orlando area, which organizes weekly round-robin drop-in play for its almost 450 members and others interested in social tennis. USTA Florida also sponsors an annual OBTA championship held in the late spring. The South Florida Tennis Club serves the Fort Lauderdale area and provides spring and fall tennis ladders for singles and doubles, team tennis, and hosts two annual Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA) sanctioned tournaments. Advantage Tampa Bay promotes recreational tennis all over the Tampa/St. Petersburg area. Their Citrus Classic Championship is held in the late fall and is sanctioned by the GLTA, while the Buccaneer Doubles tournament is held in the spring.

The Florida Section’s outreach also included a 2016 partnership with XGLOsive LLC and the OBTA to host a blacklight tennis event in October of 2016. This event featured three full courts of tennis with music, food and a welcoming environment for players of all skill levels and ages.

Last year USTA Florida partnered with the USTA National Campus to participate in the Orlando Pride Celebration with many of its staff marching in the Pride Parade and hosting a booth with fun tennis activities for everyone. We hope to make this an annual event by participating again this year.

#Throwback Thursday time to a super fun time at the "Come Out With Pride" Parade in Orlando in October and sharing…

Posted by USTA Florida on Thursday, December 20, 2018


As we try to grow this “game of a lifetime,” USTA Florida is proud of its affiliations with, and sponsorships of, these organizations. For more information on these efforts visit www.ustaflorida.com/diversity or check out USTA Florida on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.