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Block Parties Rock the Courts in SC Cities

June 5, 2009 07:20 PM

On Saturday, May 30th, 2009, the Florence Tennis Association and Sumter Tennis Association hosted their annual Tennis Block Parties. Approximately 250 participants attended the day’s festivities. Sumter brought in around 75 attendees including about 25 children ranging from the ages of 4 and 12. Florence boasted numbers nearing 175. Most in attendance were first-time players or players returning to the game after many years of inactivity.
Events at Sumer included a QuickStart tennis mini-grand stand set-up around the QuickStart courts, a dunk tank, tattoos for the kids, and free food sponsored by the STA. FTA Block PartySumter showed off its facilities in conjunction with the Women’s Pro Circuit event that was holding its finals on the site at the same time. The Palmetto Tennis Center is part of what has helped Sumter in its quest to become the USTA Best Tennis Town.
In Florence, FTA members Matt Manelli and Ernie James led the activities for new and experienced adult players, USTA South Carolina's Graham Cox did a fantastic job with the older youngsters, and Natalia Martinez from USTA Southern was a big hit with the youngest players. Of course, a phalanx of other FTA volunteers served as decorators, greeters and on-court assistants, or worked behind the scenes making sure things went smoothly and everyone had a good time.
FTA Block PartyActivities included some pretty intense drills for the adults, QuickStart instruction for the kids, and a "Hit and Get" to make sure everyone went home with a nice reminder of the event. In addition to giving Florence tennis a publicity boost, including notices in local newspapers and on the radio, the Block Party produced a number of new FTA members and quite a few sign-ups for the FTA's summer youth programs, Genesis and Abriendo Puertas. The latter program targets Hispanic kids, so several Spanish speaking FTA members were on hand to talk with the parents of prospective players.
The Block party was intended, in part, to attract participants for these summer programs, so much of the advance marketing was done in English and Spanish and targeted schools and youth-serving agencies.

FTA Block Party