The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is once again partnering with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to bring tennis to the Kids Fitness Festival. The USTA has been a part of the Kids Fitness Festival for the past four years hosting a tennis clinic that teaches children the basic skills of the sport. Local USTA Florida representatives, Susan Allshouse and Janet Sprague, have been instrumental in conducting this interactive experience, exposing tennis to over 6,000 kids at last year's event. They want to match that number this year. "Our goal is to increase awareness of youth tennis in our community," stated Susan.
According to data collected by the Sporting Good Manufacturing Association (SGMA), tennis is the fastest growing sport in America among traditional individual sports. Tennis was one of only six sports to experience participation growth exceeding 40 percent from 2000 through 2008 as determined by the SGMA. The Taylor Research Group (TRG) also reported that tennis participation reached a record high of 27 million players in 2008.
The USTA has been a major contributor to the growth of tennis and has joined the Tennis Industry Association in advocating the newest format of play, QuickStart Tennis. QuickStart Tennis will be the highlight of the tennis clinic at the Kids Fitness Festival. QuickStart tennis is an exciting new format of play providing boys and girls ages 10 & under the opportunity to learn tennis quickly through modified equipment, court dimensions and scoring based on the age and size of the children. This new format helps integrate children – primarily 10 years old and younger – into tennis by using a progressive format to teach the basic skills. QuickStart Tennis enables kids to have more enjoyable experiences early in the learning process, which is the key to keeping kids involved. This method will be used to train the next generation of tennis players and can be easily incorporated into any program and be a perfect part of a wide variety of offerings at schools, parks and recreation facilities, and clubs. It is already being used in over 1,000 locations across the country.
Chair of the Kids' Fitness Festival, Jeff Zipper from Private Client Group - National City/PNC, stated, "We are extremely pleased to have a governing body with the stature of the USTA involved in the Kids' Fitness Festival. It is a testament of the growth and respect of sports in Palm Beach County."
The Kids' Fitness Festival of the Palm Beaches is the only multi-sport event taking place on an annual basis in Palm Beach County, dedicated to introducing a variety of sports to the youth of South Florida. The festival features over 40 traditional and nontraditional sports such as; baseball, basketball, soccer, football, lacrosse, netball, badminton, fencing, martial arts, archery, fishing and more. The 2009 Kids' Fitness Festival will take place at the Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds on Thursday, July 16 and Friday, July 17 from 10am to 4pm.
For more information on how to get involved with tennis, contact Janet Sprague at (561) 686-1103.
For more information on the Kids' Fitness Festival go to www.palmbeachsports.com/kff or contact Rachel Miller at (561) 233-3178.
About the USTA
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S> and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level – from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympics US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. A not-for-profit organization with more than 725,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Cup.
About the Palm Beach County Sports Commission
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is a private, not-for-profit organization contracted by Palm Beach County to promote and market the County as a sports and sports tourism destination. The Commission brings sporting events and activities to the County, enhances economic impact, stimulates bed tax revenues (primarily in the off-season), and maximizes utilization of County facilities. The Commission offers a full range of event service support, corporate partnerships, sponsorships and a local membership program that support its goals. Local, regional, national and international marketing efforts are ongoing by the Commission with sports organizations and event owners. The Commission also produces sports-related programs for the residents of Palm Beach County including the annual Lou Groza Awards program, the Sports Hall of Fame, the Kids' Fitness Festival and awards the annual Sam Budnyk Student-Athlete Scholarship. For more information on the Palm Beach County Sports Commission go to www.palmbeachsports.com.
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