Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Latest in Lee County Tennis

If it seems as though this post is dominated by USTA Florida tennis, that’s because it is.

USTA Leagues
First off, let’s give Fort Myers Racquet Club (FMRC) some props. The guys from FMRC just keep getting it done in USTA League play. Their 3.5 men, led by Dan Campbell, are the Regional Champs of the Adult Winter League, and will represent Region 7 at sectionals in Daytona August 10-12.  Earlier this year, the 3.5 guys from FMRC, captained by Kevin Gaines, represented our area at Sectionals in the Senior League, reaching the final before falling to Marion/Fort King Tennis Center.

USTA Community Outreach Committee
USTA Florida continues to be active in our area. If you remember from previous blogs, USTA Florida announced a part-time position for a Target Market Coordinator for 10-and-Under Tennis in Lee County and also contributed $50k to the Lee County Community Tennis Association (LCCTA) in their efforts to grow the game.

The latest USTA Florida initiative in Lee County area is to reach out for someone from Lee County to serve on a new Community Outreach Committee (COC). The mission of the COC is “to support community tennis so that tennis participation and tennis programming increases at the local level.”

After consulting with a number of knowledgeable Lee County tennis community members, including former President and current Interim Director of the LCCTA, Committee chairperson, Deb Anderson asked me represent our area on the committee. I accepted the invitation, and am now your representative on the COC.

I’ll be sharing more about my role as it becomes more clearly defined. I hope you will be willing to share your thoughts with me about what we can do in our community to maximize your tennis experience, and to keep expanding the game in our community.

Host a USTA National Event
One of the things we could do to enhance our area’s tennis profile is to host a national USTA event, and such an opportunity is imminent! Do you have four or more clay courts at your club or facility? Is your facility a USTA member organization? Would you like to host a National USTA event? If you’ve answered yes to all three, then you can submit a bid to host the 2012 USTA National Husband/Wife Mixed Clay Court Championships this October, on or about the weekend of the 12th.  

The deadline to submit your bid is by noon this coming Friday, August 3.  And you can do so by clicking here or copying and pasting the following link in your web browser: For additional information, you may contact Theresa Bowen at 914-696-7150.

95th Annual ATA Nationals
Regardless of the state of my tennis game, I just love competing and putting myself to the test. That’s just what I’ll be doing this coming week at the 95th Annual American Tennis Association (ATA) National Championships in Fort Lauderdale.

“What’s the ATA?” you ask? The short answer is that it is a tennis organization created in 1916 to provide an opportunity for people of African descent to compete in sanctioned tennis events. I’m working on a piece on the ATA, so if you’re interested I’ll tell you more then.

Meanwhile, I’ll be playing the Men’s 50 Singles starting Tuesday morning. It has been 25 years since the last time I played an ATA event, and although I won at least one of the three finals I played in then (might have been two but can’t remember), I ended up in the hospital after nine hours of tennis. I think I’ll stick to one event this time.

Look at the time! As much as I like writing about tennis, I prefer playing, so off to Park Meadow, where Michelle Rygiel and I will take the court against Kelly Greens in 9.0 Mixed Doubles. Enjoy the Olympics! Oh, tennis is being shown on Bravo (237 on DirecTV, 51 on Comcast) from 7am – 3pm. Game, set, match…T. A.

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