On Saturday, October 24th, D&I committee members and friends participated in the Atkinson Stern clean-up day. Participants washed, scrubbed, raked and cut. As a result, the facility now has a fresh look and a lot of tender loving care. The ASTC has a storied past and a bright future. It continues to be a premier tennis training ground for families, veteran players and new players as well.
D&I members, Johnathon Ames, Cherry Baker, Reginald Barner, Austin Penny and Jim Ewers were there lending a hand.
Friends and supporters of Atkinson Stern were Louis Coleman, Deborah Ewers, Ahmad Jabari, Garry Lemar, Craig Mills, Karl Palmer, Hersey Pittman, Steve Rosenthal, Sandy Rosenthal and Benny Whitley. They were instrumental in the success and played a big role in making the clean-up event a great day.
Thanks to all who participated in this event.
ORLANDO, FLA., October 6, 2020 – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Genesis Health
Clubs today announced a strategic partnership that brings together the national governing
body for tennis in the United States with one of the largest health and tennis club companies in
Through this relationship, both parties will combine resources to continue growing the
sport of tennis, with a particular focus on attracting new youth and adult players.
State-of-the-art coaching tools, training, and programming support will be provided to Genesis
tennis professionals by the USTA, including access to the USTA’s Net Generation and
adult suite of programs and apps to enhance Genesis’ current youth and adult offerings.
Net Generation is the USTA’s youth tennis brand designed to get more kids, ages 5-to-18, playing
the sport. Through a smartphone app, coaches and players can connect on practice
activities, feedback, and skill assessments at the click of a button. Genesis tennis professionals
also will gain access to USTA coaching curriculums, which include video lesson plans and
activities to bolster their current lesson plans.
“Partnering with Genesis Health Clubs helps support our mission of growing tennis by combining top
quality USPTA and PTR certified coaches with introductory and fitness-based tennis activities,”
said Michael Dowse, USTA Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director. “With an expanding and newly
renovated tennis club network throughout the Midwest, Genesis has built an industry-wide reputation
for creative programming that leads to exceptional growth and player retention. We’re very excited
to be working together.”
With more than 54 Health Clubs in over six states, Genesis Health Clubs continues to
grow and expand its health, wellness, and fitness outreach. Its tennis footprint has expanded with
15 tennis facilities that are led by more than 90 tennis professionals, impacting
thousands of people by involving them in tennis.
“We’re very excited to be working together to ‘grow the game’ of tennis,” said Rodney Steven, CEO /
President of Genesis Health Clubs. “It is a privilege to partner with the USTA and be at the
forefront of the tennis and health industry. Our goals and missions are aligned to achieve the best
experience and to provide the conduit into the communities that Genesis serves. I played
throughout college and all six of my kids were positively impacted by the game through
high school and collegiate tennis.”
“When you combine the USTA, Genesis, and the game of tennis, you have the makings of
a powerful team that will grow and better the tennis landscape in so many ways, said Mike Woody,
Vice President, National Director of Tennis at Genesis Health Clubs. “Our goal at Genesis Tennis is
to make a difference through tennis within our facilities, outside our facilities, and in every
community we serve.”
As part of this new partnership with the USTA, all Genesis tennis professionals will engage in and
support the USTA’s Net Generation youth brand by registering, creating a coaching
profile, and becoming SafePlay compliant to help parents find a safe, high-quality tennis coach
for their children.
“We’re thrilled that Genesis will be utilizing Net Generation in their youth tennis programming,”
said Craig Morris, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “The Net Generation
curriculum is all based on the American Development Model (ADM) to develop physical
literacy and athletic development while supporting local coaches as they strive to deliver a
fantastic on-court experience for kids.”
The USTA and Genesis Health Clubs also will collaborate on ways to attract more adult players to
the sport through a range of new competitive and social leagues, tournaments, and team events.
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. A not-for-profit organization with more than 655,000
members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one
of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, and launched the US Open Series,
linking eight summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns
approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup,
Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation,
provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs
nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning
(NJTL) network. For more information about the USTA, go to USTA.com or follow the official accounts
on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.
Genesis Health Clubs now has 56 locations across six states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa,
Oklahoma, and Missouri, including twelve tennis clubs. Genesis offers premium luxury
amenities, a wide variety of daily group exercise classes, and world-class training,
delivering real results to its members.
Randy Jackson Nominated to Lead USTA Southern
FORT SMITH, ARK. RESIDENT TO ASSUME PRESIDENCY OF LARGEST USTA SECTION
ATLANTA – SEPTEMBER 27, 2020 – United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern announced today that Randy Jackson, of Fort Smith, Ark., has been nominated to serve as USTA Southern Board of Directors President & CEO for the 2021-22 term.
Jackson is presently serving a two-year term as Executive Vice President. Previously, Jackson served as Vice President for three terms after serving as a Director at Large. He is currently serving as Chair of the USTA Local Play and Competition Committee and previously served as the Chair of the USTA Junior Team Tennis Committee. He is a board member of the Arkansas Patrons Foundation and is presently serving as Co-Chair of the USTA Southern Local Leader Liaison Task Force. Prior positions with USTA Southern include chairing the USTA Southern Volunteer Recruitment and Development Task Force, the USTA Southern Governance Ad Hoc Committee and the USTA Southern Junior Safety Ad Hoc Committee. From 2006-10, Jackson was Chairman of the USTA Southern Junior Team Tennis Committee. In 2005-06 he served as President of USTA Arkansas and has since been inducted into the Arkansas Tennis Hall of Fame.
Brett Schwartz, of Mandeville, La., has been nominated to the post of USTA Southern Executive Vice President. He served as USTA Southern Vice President in 2019-20, Secretary in 2017-18 and as Director at Large in 2015-16.
The members of the USTA Southern Board of Directors will be voted on by the Southern Section’s nine state associations -- Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee -- for the two-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2021. The state associations will also vote on the candidates chosen for the USTA Southern Nominating Committee at that time. USTA Southern is the largest of the USTA’s 17 sections, representing nearly 25 percent of the national membership.
USTA Southern President & CEO Bonnie Vandegrift, of Asheville, N.C., was nominated as the USTA Delegate and Chairman of the USTA Southern Nominating Committee for the 2020-21 term. Here is the full list of nominees for the 2020-21 term:
USTA Southern Board of Directors (nominees)
Name Post Hometown
Randy Jackson President & CEO Fort Smith, Ark.
Brett Schwartz Executive Vice President Mandeville, La.
Bill McGugin Vice President Tn
Drew Meyers Vice President Lafayette, La.
Ted Reese Vice President Cary, N.C.
John Herring Treasurer Lexington, Ky.
Bill McGugin Secretary Nashville, Tenn.
Ernie James Director at Large Florence, S.C.
Ashley Massengale Director at Large Atlanta
Jim Warren Director at Large Jackson, Miss.
Bonnie Vandegrift USTA Delegate Asheville, N.C.
USTA Southern Nominating Committee (nominees)
Name Post Hometown
Bonnie Vandegrift Chair Asheville, N.C.
Donna Gast Member Cary, N.C.
Paul Pittman Member Florence, S.C.
Jenifer Tucker Member Fayetteville, Ark.
Derek White Member Savannah, Ga.
A list of bios for the board nominees is attached. Photos are available on request.
Pursuant to the USTA LTA Bylaws, below is the Nominating Committee’s proposed Slate of Board of Directors and Nominating Committee for the 2021-2022 term.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President Jay Boyd Bossier City
Executive Vice President Emily Becker Covington
Vice President Grady Wilson Shreveport
Vice President Jennifer Edmonson Baton Rouge
Secretary Kathy Ruckstuhl Lafayette
Treasurer Ed Gaskell New Orleans
Region 1 Southeast Lana Whitlow Metairie
Region 2 Eastern Josh Dubois Baton Rouge
Region 3 Southwest Courtney Dugas Lafayette
Region 4 Northern Bob Patterson Shreveport
Region 5 Northshore Barbara Fisher Mandeville
USPTA Representative Janusz Conradi Lafayette
Tennis Professional Rep Chris Dazet New Orleans
Immediate Past President Bruce Kingsdorf Mandeville
Director at Large Rusty Jabour Baton Rouge
Director at Large Jim Ewers New Orleans
Bruce Kingsdorf Chairman Mandeville
Rusty Jabour Member Baton Rouge
Chris Dazet Member New Orleans
Jason Hazley Member Mandeville
Jim Ewers Member New Orleans
USTA LTA Nominating Chairman
ATLANTA – Sept. 14, 2020 – USTA Southern was concerned about the financial instability brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to provide extra support to tennis industry professionals and volunteers who work in many occupations and live in nine Southern states.
Last April, the USTA Southern Board of Directors voted to fund a new initiative, named Southern Cares. After extensive outreach to the tennis industry in the Southern Section, USTA Southern awarded $803,800 to 917 recipients for an average of $876.55. It is expected the number of approvals and grant funds will increase slightly. Applications were received from 1,103 individuals and organizations.
Southern Cares offered needed aid to those who provide tennis to communities within the Southern tennis family and were impacted by COVID-19. The purpose of this initiative was to provide financial support for teaching pros, tennis facilities, tournament directors, league coordinators, officials, community tennis associations, NJTLs, adaptive programs, wheelchair programs and media who have lost income or revenue due to the cancellation of events and to help defray costs of restarting tennis programs.
The demanding challenge of reviewing and selecting applications fell mostly on the 11-member volunteer board. Additionally, six USTA Southern staffers with specific expertise in the program areas were also assigned to the task of reviewing applications. Staff members from the nine state tennis associations within USTA Southern were also consulted on the applications.
USTA Southern President & CEO Bonnie Vandegriftsaid, “COVID-19 has negatively impacted so many in our tennis family and USTA Southern is very fortunate to be in a strong financial position to help. As facilities are reopening, and tennis has been identified as a safe sport, we are seeing resurgence in play and an opportunity for our community partners to introduce the sport to both juniors and adults alike.” She also added other comments during an interview on the section’s podcast, Talking Tennis Southern Style.
“USTA Southern is pleased we have been able to assist so many in the tennis industry in the nine Southeastern states with this Southern Cares project,” USTA Southern Executive Director & COO John Callen added. “Tennis is rapidly picking up new players to our ‘COVID-19 safe’ sport and one that adds years to our lifespans. By helping our industry stay as strong as possible, tennis should be poised to grow and expand in South in the months and years to come.”
The Southern Cares program was divided into three categories:
Teaching professionals (often called tennis pros):
· 723 applicants
· 641 awarded support
· $320,500.00 total support
· Average: $500.00
Tennis facilities: approximately 70% are public, 30% are private
· 167 applicants
· 139 awarded support
· $278,700.00 total support
· Average: $2,577.88
“Others” in the tennis industry: tournament directors; Junior Team Tennis and Local League coordinators (tennis organizers); officials; media; tennis nonprofits affiliated with the USTA including community tennis associations, National Junior Tennis and Learning, wheelchair tennis and adaptive/special populations organizations:
· 213 applicants
· 107 individuals, 56 organizations awarded support
· $151,000 total support
· Average: $926.38
Here is a sample of the more than 70 recipients who responded to a survey about their reaction to the support:
Neil Witherow; Jackson, Miss.; teaching pro
This is a great example of how the USTA Southern continues to show its support for those in the industry. They could have easily just left this work to the government, or even saved its resources in this time of uncertainty. However, it chose to pay forward for the care that many in the industry will, in turn, show to their customers and tennis students.
Mike Hurley; Old Hickory, Tenn.; teaching pro
It provided a needed positive "spark" to stay engaged and that we were not alone in our concerns. As well, it acknowledged the importance of tennis professionals.
Geoff Waring; tennis manager for Montgomery, Ala. Parks and Recreation; facility
It has provided a buffer for my family’s income while my facility was closed. It was so helpful. The facility grant helped at a time when we know we will be having a tough budget crunch at our municipal facilities and will help us to maintain our facility and serve the public.
JoAnn Lee; Creekside Tennis & Swim; Charleston, S.C.; facility
It was very helpful during this time when COVID-19 shut down our facility. We are now running at full capacity and all our tennis programs are up at least 15 to 20 percent.
Robert Sasseville; Fairburn, Ga.; tournament director
Thank you to USTA Southern for establishing this program that acknowledges the significant sacrifice that all in the tennis industry have experienced during this once-in-a-lifetime challenge. It will be used to defray the cost of tennis balls and/or officials at the three USTA Georgia events we conducted in July and August.
Meg Farrelly; Isle of Palms, S.C.; official
Southern has helped me finance being as safe as possible during this back-to-tennis time. In February I went to a dollar store and bought every pump hand sanitizer they had. 87 in all. Smartest thing I have ever done. I now share my emergency buckets with all the tournaments in the Lowcountry.
Carla O’Connor; Charlotte, N.C.; community tennis assoc. (Talking Tennis Southern Style)
As a recipient, I think it is about much more than the money. It translates to a much-needed morale booster at this time. … It will go a long way to help solidify the partnership and the relationship tennis professionals have with the USTA.
USTA Southern (US Tennis Association) Director, Communications
email@example.com; O: 770-368-8200 x112; M: 770-378-7856
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Section Board of Directors announced the cancellation of its 2020 USTA Adult League championships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The six events were scheduled between late July and early December in six cities.
USTA League and Combo Doubles are considered the flagship of the USTA, with 90,000 players in USTA Southern and 330,000 nationally. The leagues consist of teams of about six to 20 players in various age categories. Most teams start competing at the local level and advance to state and sectional championships. Last year, approximately 7,000 players and 600 teams participated in USTA Southern championships and contributed millions of dollars to local economies.
In many states in USTA Southern, most local league play was either halted, canceled or had not begun. Once the USTA announces when local play resumes, individual state associations will decide on the fate of their state adult league championships for 2020.
The USTA had announced in April that all 2020 USTA national adult league championships were canceled due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
Here are the six canceled events, with dates and locations:
USTA Southern President & CEO Bonnie Vandegrift said, “It is with a heavy heart that we have had to cancel these important championships. USTA League and Combo Doubles are the backbone of local tennis participation in USTA Southern and throughout the country. The safety of our players is our priority. We are truly disappointed that we cannot stage these tournaments, which allows our players to be physically active and gives our cities significant travel revenue.”
USTA Southern Adult League Committee Chair Helen Martin added, “Our USTA League and other adult players are so passionate about playing. That makes is especially disappointing that we won’t be able to give them the opportunity to compete with other players from our nine states. The good news is that we will be able to focus on supporting local tennis programs.”
USTA Southern Director of Adult Tennis & Human Resources Chris Walling added, “This was not an easy decision and one that was ultimately decided on by what is best for our players. The health and safety of our players was the number one priority. Additionally, one of the many items we looked at was what our players told us. In a recent USTA Southern League survey with over 13,000 responses, an overwhelming majority of our players made it clear that they wanted to focus on local league options and were not comfortable with team events with more than 300 players in attendance.”
Congratulations boys on this very high achievement! Welsh Hotard and Benjamin Koch have been doubles partners for around 8 years. They won their first Southern closed in 12s and have continued to win many Southern and National titles together. They won the prestigious Easter Bowl in 2018 and won the bronze ball at national clays and Winter Nationals.
Ben will be attending LSU on an athletic scholarship and Welsh will be attending University of Oklahoma on an athletic scholarship.
Presently Welsh is according to tennis recruiting.com the number 3 recruit in the Senior Class and Ben is the number 17 recruit in the Senior Class.
LSU Men's Tennis player, Daniel Moreno was recognized on the men's tennis SEC Community Service 2019-2020 team for his accomplishments beyond the field of competition.
Daniel is a sophomore from Guadalajara, Mexico. He has spent multiple hours volunteering and giving back to the Baton Rouge community. For the second year in a row, Daniel volunteered at the Knock Knock Museum, a local children's museum intended to provide high-quality learning experiences for children. The museum is also geared to expand knowledge in the STEM subjects while increasing early literacy skills through their specialized interactive exhibits. Daniel was coordinating a demonstration for World Water Day, prior to campus closing for the semester. The Sophomore tennis player also participated in the Halloween Boozar. Congrats Daniel!
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