This year has been groundbreaking for USTA Florida and the entire tennis industry. The game is growing faster than ever before, and people worldwide are talking about tennis.
While USTA Florida has been playing a role in the growth of the sport, it isn’t possible without the help and support of others in the community. In 2022, USTA Florida teamed up with many key industry organizations/groups, with the common goal of growing the game at every level.
Throughout 2022, USTA Florida has partnered with the following organizations:
- United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA)
- Professional Tennis Registry (PTR)
- Love Serving Autism (LSA)
- Special Olympics
- Universal Tennis Rating (UTR)
- American Tennis Association (ATA)
- RacquetSportsU (RSU)
- Delray Beach Open (DBO)
- Miami Open
USTA Florida and USPTA signed an agreement in June that serves as notice that both groups are committed to growing the game of tennis together. USPTA works to raise the standards of tennis-teaching professionals and coaches and to promote a greater awareness of the sport. Together, the two sides believe that this can be achieved at the local and grassroot levels. They will support one another through programming and collaborating on important projects like growing the game for all through their joint diversity initiatives.
In September, USTA Florida and the Professional Tennis Registry, who educates, certifies, and serves tennis coaches so that the sport they love can continue to grow and evolve, reached an agreement to collaborate moving forward. The two parties want to support each other Safe Play/Safe Sport, Youth Play, Adult Play, and Community Programs such as adaptive, wheelchair, and other events. Also, they want to see more diversity in the sport such as women leaders and different cultures getting involved.
Another staple in USTA Florida programming is Love Serving Autism. The program’s mission is to expand life skills, especially functional communication, through multidisciplinary specialized therapeutic tennis instruction to increase community inclusion and independence of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Challenges. LSA was appropriately recognized by the he Florida Recreation & Park Association with the Innovative Programming Diversity, Equity and Inclusion award this year. LSA classes are being offered around the state and USTA Florida is happy to be able to work with them to provide courts, equipment, coaches, and more.
The Special Olympics are another partner as they organize sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community. In 2022, USTA Florida hosted the State Championships, which saw 200 athletes, 50 coaches, and 200 volunteers all enjoying some tennis and putting smiles on everyone’s faces.
Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) and University of North Florida (UNF) were integral to helping USTA Florida run the first all-girls camp. Women tennis leaders from the state came together to support these young women on and off the court.
The American Tennis Association (ATA) has been a great partner, especially in the AMPLIFY initiative. The ATA works to develop, promote, and showcase opportunities through tennis in diverse communities. Earlier this year, USTA Florida and the ATA put together a XGLOsive tennis event, which turned the darkness of the night into a bright tennis experience in advance of the ATA National Championships hosted at the USTA National Campus.
Through our Community Coach Program, RacquetSportsU has proven to be a valuable partner for those who attend trainings. RSU gives people extra tools, such as videos and articles that people can use to further educate themselves on becoming a coach in the community.
At the Delray Beach and Miami Open, USTA Florida has had the honor of putting on wheelchair tennis clinics, Pride Day, Kids Day, and spread the word of the sport to those in attendance.
USTA Florida is always looking for more ways to get involved with community leaders, groups, and organizations with a goal of providing tennis for everyone. While there was a lot accomplished with that this year, 2023 is shaping up to be one of the most successful years ever, but it won’t be fulfilled without the support from our industry partners.