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Bluffton Wins USTA South Carolina Southern Regional Adult Team Tennis Championships

Bluffton Greg Yost's Bluffton I team came out on top at the first annual USTA South Carolina Southern Regional Adult Team Tennis Championships. The event played out January 28 and 29 at Chaplin Public Tennis Center, Hilton
Head High School courts, and Hilton Head Middle School courts.

Terry Logan's Beaufort 1 team came in second with 122 games won, followed by Jack Abernathy's Jokers at third place with 120 games.

Ray Hardy's Hilton Head Island 3 with 110 games, Billie Lindsay's Beaufort 2 with 109 games, and Jan Ghys's Hilton Head Island 2 with 96 games
rounded out the tally board.

The event was organized by USTA South Carolina's Graham Cox, who served as Tournament Director, in cooperation with Public Tennis, Inc., of Hilton
Head Island and Bluffton, and the Beaufort Tennis Association.

USTA Adult Team Tennis on Hilton Head Island, in Bluffton and in Beaufort, has grown from zero in 2003 to more than 130 participants by the end of
2005. Less formal than USTA League tennis, adult team tennis allows for a variety of match and scoring formats.

The Hilton Head-Bluffton Fall League included 98 players, a good number of whom are not affiliated with private clubs in the area and who find the
evening and weekend practice and match schedule much more compatible to the demands of persons with full-time jobs during the week.


cd1The Florence Tennis Association held a "mini-tennis" clinic at the Boys and Girls Club of Florence on Saturday, October 1st as part of the Nickelodeon National Day of Play event held in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America nationwide. The purpose of the National day of Play is to get kids outside and exposed to many differant activities. Between 150 and 200 kids from the Florence area participated in the event. FTA President Ed Sprenger, Vice President Ernie James, and Development Chairman Paul Pittman set up a mini-tennis court in a parking lot adjacent to the baseball field and ran the kids through a series of forehand and backhand drills.


Public Tennis, Inc. , the Boys and Girls Club and the Van der Meer Tennis Center worked together to assure the participation of 24 Hispanic juniors at the "Hispanic Kids' Day" held in conjunction with the annual USTA Kaelin/Diadora Women's $10,000 Tournament, held May 28
- June 3, 2005.

Justyn Schelver of the VDM Tennis Center and Maria Ramirez of the Boys and Girls Club saw the operation through to its fruition.

PTI is now working on developing a weekend program as a follow on to the Van der Meer experience.


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Karim Otky, former coach to Younes El Ainaoui, Moroccan ATP player, and current trainer for Hilton Head Island USA Team Tennis for Juniors teams, conducts drills at a free tennis day held in mid-March at Shell Hall, a residential development in Greater Bluffton.

The event attracted a multicultural contingent from Beaufort's public parks program, led by tennis mentor Floyd Johnson, father of Beaufort HS girls singles star, Chloe St. Charles.

CDC Subcommittee Chair for Diversity Cameron Everett and Chair Ed Bernier participated in the festival. Otky plans other such events, targeting residential communities in the rapidly growing Greater Beaufort area.


The two pictures show members of two teams from Hilton Head Island, one from Bluffton, and one from Beaufort, members of the newly-formed Tri-Cities USA Team Tennis League for Juniors, sponsored by Public Tennis, Inc.

The pictures were taken on day one of the League's season, when all four teams played at Bluffton's Bobcat Public Tennis Center, hosted by PTI's Bluffton Program Officer and Bluffton Coach, Robert Brown.

Ed Bernier, PTI President, coaches the two HHI teams, while Dave Riedmayer, Beaufort HS coach, is in charge of the Beaufort team.

Midway through the season Beaufort had a strong lead and appeared headed for the State Championships in Sumter at the end of July.


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Public Tennis, Inc. , the Boys and Girls Club and the Van der Meer Tennis Center worked together to assure the participation of 24 Hispanic juniors at the "Hispanic Kids' Day" held in conjunction with the annual
USTA Kaelin/Diadora Women's $10,000 Tournament, held May 28 - June 3, 2005.

Justyn Schelver of the VDM Tennis Center and Maria Ramirez of the Boys and Girls Club saw the operation through to its fruition.

PTI is now working on developing a weekend program as a follow on to the Van der Meer experience


LATA & Brookland Baptist church (the largest church in Columbia, SC) joined to offer an outreach program for multicultural children ages 6-17

LATA & BBC created a budget based on 30 participants. LATA applied for grants to offset expenses as well as a minimum $10 registration fee. Players would receive 10 weeks of professional instruction for 1 and a ½ hours a week, a tennis racquet, a t-shirt & transportation from the church to the Lexington County Tennis Complex. Scholarship $ was available for those needing help with registration fees or for purchasing tennis shoes.

OVERWHELMINGLY, 179 registrations were received. The program had to be re-formatted to accommodate the players. The 10 week program was divided into two 5 week programs. The first 5 week program was for 10 – 17 year olds. This program was further divided into a 1:00 session for the 10 & 11 year olds and a 2:30 session for the 12-17 year olds. The second 5 week session was for 6-9 years olds. This session was divided into a 1:00 session for ages 6 & 7 and a 2:30 session for ages 8 & 9. All to accommodate 179 participants. Full

USTA South Carolina
Minutes for 12/3/04
Submitted by: Martha J. Wilder

I. Welcome & Introductions: Ed Bernier

Ed Bernier, Chairperson, welcomed committee members and guests. Committee Secretary Martha Wilder provided the attendance list to Graham Cox. Personal Information Cards were distributed by Mr. Bernier for members to complete and return during the meeting. Mr. Bernier reviewed the mission and goals for the CDC.

II. 2004 Review: Graham Cox

Graham Cox, USTA SC Community Development Director, provided a review of what has been accomplished this past year:

  1. Grants: There were more provided this year than last year to the local communities.
  2. TWCs: 75 in South Carolina was the goal given to SC, which was met at 75. For 2005 these TWCs will have to re-register.
  3. CTAs: 30 total, 10 of which are not registered with the USTA. Some of the CTAs are not “terribly active”.
  4. TennisLink: to be used to register Youth Team Tennis teams. College Team Tennis is growing. Corporate Team Tennis has been a challenge, but we may now have a “doer” to help with this. Mr. Bernier asked us to ask someone in our community who might be willing to do one of the Team Tennis programs.
  5. USA School Tennis: Many workshops and in-service trainings were provided by USTA/SC. A new criteria has been required: Racquets will not be awarded until an After School Program is being provided. Network with peers to encourage After School Programs.
  6. Community Development Workshop: was held in October in Columbia. It featured very good speakers.

III. Identified Challenges to Progress:

Mr. Bernier suggested another get-together to come up with realistic expectations to accomplish our goals. If we do not have time, send someone to be our surrogate.

10 of the 16 members are out of Lexington and Columbia, an under-representation of communities in most need of true development. Identify two people in these areas who would most benefit. For example: Rock Hill, Saluda, McCormick. Joel Corley said that Rock Hill just built a park facility with tennis courts. Saluda has courts in town and new courts at the new Saluda High School.

Carey Washington, OIC, made the following suggestion: “I think this committee should agree in principal to align themselves with the Parks & Recreation, such as Joel, and gain contacts from him. And as a result Graham will follow-up with this.” Joyce Harrison made this into a motion. Domino Boulware seconded the motion.

Graham suggested that we think of business leaders to tie into the corporate field.
Volunteers: Larry Thompson and Joel Corley will move this forward.

The vote passed unanimously.

IV. Proposed 2005 Committee Adjustment:

Regarding the CDC, Graham realized that we did not have time to follow through with what we all decided to do. Considerable legwork was needed. We need to be more realistic by limiting our goals to focus time and resources to a few well-handled projects. To help develop our ability as CDC members, we need to network and delegate appropriate roles within their community.

V. 2005 Additional Strategies:

Discussion centered on revisiting our perceived mandate in order to arrive at realistic goals for the group, as well as how to engage others throughout the state to move toward our objectives.

VI. Roundtable:

Goals were prioritized based on information and action taken with the Action Cards, which were provided by Mr. Bernier.

  1. Data Collection: too many items to consider for data collection. The group felt the minority data would be helpful. They were overwhelmed by the scope of the situation. The whole state of South Carolina is too large for data collection. It was suggested to consider a target area for data collection. Karen Holzschuh agreed to assist someone with this task.
  2. Minority Participation: Cameron reported that activities and prizes were provided for Hispanics on HHI. A grant was obtained to cover costs. An interpreter was secured. They wish to do this again next year.
  3. Promote Community Tennis Partnerships: Joel will get with the Executive Director of SC Parks & Rec. He will get names of directors in communities and find out about areas that have a tennis complex or basketball gyms and try to start a CTAs in those areas.
  4. Promote TWCs: Enoch suggested that we target the areas and analyze the problems they are having to see how we can help them promote tennis. Graham reported that TWCs marketing will be more customized for the specific TWCs. We must maintain awareness of what a TWC is and talk it up.
  5. Schools and Youth Team Tennis: Cassie said that they were setting up schools and in-service trainings. However, we could do better at building a database. A school liaison has been established with the Lexington Tennis Center. CTAs could be agents for USTA/SC to promote multi-cultural and school programs, etc.
  6. Adult, College, and USA College Team Tennis: We need to get families involved, get churches involved, speak to facility directors. Go to colleges and get to know the intra-mural coaches. TV and radio spots. Talk to Hispanics. Go to restaurants to talk to them.

The following action items were decided upon and volunteers listed:

  1. Joel will get with Mr. Haley to get contacts.
  2. Get message out to TV and radio. Larry Thompson will get with Graham about this.
  3. Ed needs to find someone to work with Karen.
  4. Encourage schools to get a CTA liaison. Volunteer: ?

Karen will coordinate the web page for this committee. She will talk with committee chairs or vice-chairs regarding information for the page.

Mr. Bernier did a project on Hwy 121.With funds he could have programs in many of the small communities. He also wants to do a project in Orangeburg.

VII. Schedule Next Meeting:

Grant review dates: 12/16/04 at 6:00 p.m., 1/13/05 at 6:00 p.m.