Volunteers are the heartbeat of USTA Florida – it’s in our roots. The organization was founded by four volunteers in 1949, and since then, it has been volunteer-run and has benefitted from its extensive and loyal volunteer group in the Florida tennis community. A large part of the success of our mission depends on those passionate and devoted volunteers who serve on committees, help at junior competition events, and assist in their local community programs or special community events.
With the world slowing down in the last year and a half, USTA Florida decided to reflect on the way we recruit and engage new and existing diverse volunteers within their community. In April 2021, the organization formed a project team to develop a plan to improve the current volunteer process.
The ability to promote and develop tennis throughout the state depends heavily on the ability to attract and retain volunteers. The Volunteer Engagement project team has been developing a new and easier way for individuals to express their interest in volunteering with USTA Florida – including the introduction of a volunteer hub on USTAFlorida.com. Volunteers will be able to access the volunteer hub to browse a calendar of available volunteer opportunities. Individuals can also join our Volunteer Aces database to be notified of future volunteer opportunities in their geographical areas.
“We want this hub to meet the need of everyone interested in volunteering,” said project manager Magali Holt. “That includes high school students who are looking for opportunities to complete community service hours, tennis lovers who want to share their love for the sport in their local communities, and even those individuals who may not be part of our Florida tennis community but would like to make a difference in their neighborhood through the sport.”
USTA Florida is also committing more resources to the promotion of volunteer opportunities. The online hub is designed to be the starting point for all tennis volunteer opportunities in the state, not just USTA Florida programs. Additional current and potential partners for these opportunities include:
- Adult and youth tennis events, such as tournaments or team tennis
- Adaptive and wheelchair tennis events and programs
- USTA Florida Foundation fundraising events
- Local community programs
- Florida tennis providers and tennis organizations
USTA Florida is also putting a greater emphasis on recruiting more diverse volunteers across the state. Volunteers of all backgrounds and experiences are welcome to be part of our mission to “Promote and Develop Tennis for All”. More attention is also being given to appreciation and recognition gestures, as all volunteers should feel acknowledged for the time and effort they’ve dedicated to their local communities.
The official relaunch of USTA Florida’s Volunteer Engagement Program – known as Volunteer Aces – is set for Jan. 2022. No tennis experience is necessary to become a Volunteer Ace with USTA Florida. If you’re interested in getting involved, please visit USTAFlorida.com/Volunteer for more information.