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USTA SC Junior Team Tennis State Championships Returning to Florence

August 13, 2015 02:35 PM

COLUMBIA, S.C. – USTA South Carolina is excited to announce that its Junior Team Tennis State Championships will return to Florence for two more years in 2016 and 2017.

The tennis championships, which bring nearly 400 players, parents and coaches from across the state to town, have been held at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center the past four years.

Each year the championships have benefited the Florence economy. Last month’s championships brought nearly $210,000 to Florence, according to city estimates.

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Kids ages 6-18 play and have fun at the USTA SC Junior Team Tennis State Championships. (USTA SC photo)


Local organizers applied to bring the championships back because of past success and community support, said Ed Sprenger, tournament committee chairman for the Florence Tennis Association, a local tennis nonprofit, which bid to host the championships in partnership with the City of Florence Parks and Recreation Department.

“We just feel like it’s a good fit,” Sprenger said.

Organizers’ past success partly led the USTA SC Junior Team Tennis committee to choose Florence again, said Les Arkin, JTT committee chairman.

Florence organizers consistently go above and beyond what most tournament officials do, Arkin said.

For instance, at this year’s championships, which were held last month, Florence organizers gave every player a free embroidered towel. They also fed the players at no charge during the Friday evening player party. And the City of Florence provided staff members to help throughout the three-day championships.

“They know what they’re doing,” Arkin said.

Committee members also appreciated the championships being played at one site and the competitive hotel rates the Florence community has provided, Arkin said.

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Sprenger

Florence organizers also wanted to bring back the championships because it’s not a typical tennis tournament, Sprenger said, where nearly everyone exclusively focuses on the matches.

At the JTT State Championships, he said, making sure the players have fun off the court is just as important as making sure they enjoy themselves on the court.

At last month’s championships, when the players weren’t watching or playing tennis, they were cruising down water slides, competing for giveaways or playing ping pong on outdoor tables.

“It’s not your normal weekend tennis tournament,” Sprenger said. “It’s an event.”

He also sees today’s announcement as validation for all the work Florence organizers have done for tennis and for the tournament.

“It makes me feel like the folks in charge recognize that we’re doing a good job, that our efforts are appreciated,” Sprenger said.

 

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