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Tenis Para Todos, Tennis is for Everyone

March 28, 2016 09:28 AM

Tenis Para Todos, Tennis is for Everyone
By Haley Cunningham, USTA SC

Lexington, S.C. – Tenis Para Todos, meaning tennis is for everyone was embraced by the USTA South Carolina staff and volunteers on Sunday, March 20 at the Hispanic outreach event. With over 175 attendants the courts were filled with smiles and enthusiasm to learn more about the sport of tennis.

“This event demonstrated the potential for growing the game of tennis within the Hispanic population. It was amazing to see entire families on the courts having fun and truly being engaged. The USTA SC staff, board and volunteers really rallied these families,” said Cee Jai Jones, director of diversity, NJTL and grants. 

Eight courts were utilized during this event, each allowing the families to rally together. One court in particular had mini nets set up with household items (vacuum cleaners, benches, etc.) and caution tape to demonstrate that tennis can be played anywhere, with anything.Tenis_Para_Todos_Little_girl

Abby Galbreath, community development coordinator and event organizer stated, “It was great to show that tennis is for everyone and the fruit of our labor directly benefits our community.”  

USTA SC staff members, board and volunteers assisted with the execution of the on court activities in order to directly engage with the families. “It was extremely rewarding to run games and drills on-court and see new players having fun,” said Graham Cox, executive director of USTA SC.

The event was complemented by its numerous volunteers and staff from every tier of the USTA. Benedict College women’s tennis team sent four of its players to assist with the on court activities.

Integrity Student Transportation buses were used to transport attendants from Columbia, SC to the event. USTA SC made sure the event was available to the entire Hispanic community, no matter their location.

“The Tenis Para Todos event was teamwork in action. Everyone from the staff of USTA SC to Lexington Tennis Complex to USTA National worked very hard to make sure everyone who came out had a fantastic introduction to tennis and an event they won’t forget,” said Anne Davis, national manager of play days.

La Raza on 840 AM radio station was live from the event providing music for the attendees. Lunch was provided at the event by 7 Mares Mexican and Seafood Restaurant. PASOS was also in attendance giving out information on how to become more involved in the community.

After lunch, raffle tickets were drawn for fun tennis themed prizes including racquets, mini pop-up nets and free tennis lessons. Jorge Andrew and the Lexington Tennis Complex acted as both the host and emcee of the event. This allowed the attendees to be face-to-face with someone willing to work with them and grow the sport of tennis in the Hispanic community.

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Follow-up programs are now available in Richland and Lexington County. For more information please email galbreath@sctennis.com or nelson@sctennis.com.  

Bill Leong, national director of diversity and inclusion stated, “As the U.S. population increasingly becomes more diverse particularly with an accelerated growth of Hispanic population, it’s important to engage the community with cultural considerations in the design and delivery of community outreach. It was exciting for me to witness the USTA South Carolina welcomed the Hispanic audience to tennis by taking family approach to introducing the game. “

USTA SC had a clear goal for Tenis Para Todos, to introduce tennis to the Hispanic community, they succeeded. 

 

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