On the heels of a major study by the Physical Activity Council (PAC) that shows 80 million Americans remain inactive, the tennis industry has unified behind a "Try Tennis for Free" campaign designed to get Americans of all ages moving and playing tennis. By visiting PlayTennis.com, consumers can find tennis facilities and teaching professionals in their areas that offer free sessions for beginners and returning tennis players.
The PAC study shows that 80.2 million Americans ages 6 and up, or 27.6 percent of the U.S. population, were physically inactive in 2013 and didn't participate in any of the more than 120 sports and activities surveyed, which included everything from individual and team sports to running and walking. But a new campaign by the tennis industry is looking to change the numbers.
"Try Tennis for Free" runs through the month of May and is designed to get new and returning tennis players onto the tennis court to enjoy all the healthy benefits of the sport. The campaign, for players of all ages and skill levels, is run through the tennis industry-supported website PlayTennis.com.
The free sessions offered can vary depending on the location, as each individual facility or certified tennis teaching professional has the option to choose the best introductory session or program they feel will encourage new and returning players to step onto the court. Free offers can include lessons, clinics, Cardio Tennis, USTA Play Days for kids, and more. Consumers should visit PlayTennis.com to find a participating facility or teaching pro in their area.
"There's a reason why tennis is considered 'the sport for a lifetime,'" says Greg Mason, president of the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), which is managing and promoting the Try Tennis for Free campaign. "Tennis is one of the healthiest sports for kids and adults of all ages, and it's also fun, social, and active. With Try Tennis for Free this May--driven through the PlayTennis.com website--we simply want to help more Americans get out on the tennis courts, more frequently."
"We have more than 80 million Americans continuing to live totally sedentary lifestyles," says Tom Cove, PAC chairman and president and CEO of the Sports and Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). "Now is the time for our country and our industry to double down in its commitment to promoting physical activity."
In addition to the TIA, Try Tennis for Free also is a joint effort with this country's two main professional tennis-teaching organizations--the Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) and the U.S. Professional Tennis Association (USPTA). The PTR is promoting Try Tennis for Free to its certified professionals in conjunction with its 10 & Under Tennis Month, while the USPTA is promoting Try Tennis to its certified pros in connection with its Tennis Across America campaign.
"If you go to PlayTennis.com and don’t see a participating Try Tennis for Free venue in your area, contact your local facility or teaching pro and tell them you're interested in playing, and inquire about a free or introductory session or program," says TIA Executive Director Jolyn de Boer.
"PlayTennis.com also has a free 'tennis concierge' service that easily helps you find tennis locations near you," de Boer adds. "For tennis providers, it's a simple and free sign-up on the PlayTennis.com website to become involved in Try Tennis for Free."
To learn more about Try Tennis for Free and to find a nearby location, visit PlayTennis.com.
How to "Try Tennis for Free"
1. Visit PlayTennis.com
2. Click on the main Try Tennis Free image on the homepage
3. Search for facilities in your area that are participating in the Try Tennis for Free promotion; these locations will be denoted with a small Try Tennis icon.
4. Contact that location directly to arrange your free introductory lesson or program. (Subject to time and availability at the discretion of the facility or teaching professional.)
About the TIA: The Tennis Industry Association, the not-for-profit trade association for tennis, is THE unifying force in the tennis industry whose mission is to promote the growth and economic vitality of tennis by working closely with the U.S. Tennis Association and industry partners to develop and implement initiatives to increase tennis participation and improve the health of industry businesses. Core TIA activities include producing more than 70 research reports annually on participation and consumer/trade research, in addition to Grow the Game Initiatives such as PlayTennis.com, 10 and Under Tennis, the GrowingTennis System™, Tennis Welcome Centers, Cardio Tennis, Careers in Tennis and Tennis Tune-Up Campaign. Visit TennisIndustry.org or call 866-686-3036.