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Cousins Proves It's All Relative with JTT

March 31, 2009 08:01 PM

Ashlyn Cousins’ call to USTA South Carolina in the summer of 2008 was to simply inquire about junior tennis leagues in the Greenville area and find a team for her children. She never suspected that phone call would lead her to becoming the Greenville Jr. Team Tennis Coordinator!

Ashlyn’s kids had been taking tennis lessons at their club and were tiring of the sport she loved so dearly. She wanted them to have an opportunity to compete and play recreationally, as she does in the adult league, before allowing them to give it up. She checked out the USTA website to learn how best to get them involved and found exactly what she was looking for in Jr. Team Tennis (JTT). She gave the USTA SC office a call to find a program in her area. When she learned there was a need for a coordinator in the Greenville area and that USTA South Carolina had been searching for a dedicated volunteer to organize this program, Ashlyn decided to step up and give it her best, and that she did!

gville story pic

Ashlyn began talking to public and private tennis facility directors, tennis pros, parents, school personnel, and tennis enthusiasts in the area about how best to serve the Greenville community. In addition, she recruited friends, family and parent volunteers to take on various administrative tasks to lighten the load and broaden the program's reach in the community. She and her volunteers attended USTA SC trainings to gain a broader understanding of JTT and learn what resources are available to them by being an official USTA program.

Bonnie Sue Duncan, President of the Upper Piedmont Tennis Association (UPTA), enthusiastically supports Greenville JTT and has adopted it as part of UPTA’s program offerings. UPTA is a not-for-profit Community Tennis Association (CTA) organized by a group of volunteers who wish to promote and grow the game of tennis in Greenville. Bonnie Sue is delighted by the growth of junior tennis in Greenville and the energy and enthusiasm Ashlyn and her volunteers have generated.

Pulling together the Greenville JTT program has definitely been a team effort with Ashlyn taking the lead in gaining community support, utilizing the resources and assistance made available through UPTA and USTA, and recruiting valuable volunteers. This program now has a strong parent-volunteer structure, which is the foundation needed to sustain it. With such a strong volunteer base, it’s no wonder that Greenville JTT boasted over 230 players participating in its inaugural season of play!

Gville Fall Fun Day

Michelle Campanella, USTA SC Manager of Junior Programs, had this to say about the Greenville JTT program; “Basically, Ashlyn has done everything asked of her as a JTT program coordinator, and more. She wanted to share the recreational tennis experience with her kids and her community and had the ambition to see it through. I believe this program now has the leadership and support needed to sustain and grow a great Jr. Team Tennis program in Greenville for many years to come.”

What’s great about the Greenville JTT success is that it shows how one individual can make great things happen. If you are interested in making a difference in your community, get in touch with your local community tennis association (for a list of CTAs in SC, go to ), or contact Michelle Campanella at the USTA South Carolina office.

Jr. Team Tennis (JTT) is a multi-week program of team practice and match play for boys and girls, ages 6-18. Teams are co-ed and are comprised of players of similar age and skill levels: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. Teams from the same geographic region compete against each other in one of the following league divisions: 18 and under, 14 and under, 12 and under, 10 and under, 8 and under.

To find out more about this program, go to or contact Michelle Campanella at 800.644.7282 Ext. 17.