USTA/PNW creates regional tennis ecosystem
May 6, 2014
BEAVERTON, Ore. — The United States Tennis Association Pacific Northwest Section (USTA/PNW) is expanding recreational and social tennis opportunities with new programs throughout the region. Offerings are launching this summer in Seattle, Spokane, Bellingham and Richland, Washington; Eugene, Oregon; and Anchorage, Alaska with the goal of growing the sport of tennis in the Pacific Northwest.
“The state of tennis in the Pacific Northwest is strong,” said Matthew Warren, USTA/PNW executive director. “But to maintain our growth and expand the availability of tennis to the next generation, we are focusing on providing programs in schools and communities so everyone can benefit from learning and playing tennis.”
With a record 13 percent increase in adult league participation, USTA/PNW competitive programming continues to grow. But with an average age of 52 for current USTA/PNW members, the organization is increasingly focused on introducing the sport to new players. To accomplish this goal, the USTA/PNW is partnering with parks and recreation departments across the region to launch a wave of new summer programming.
“Tennis is unique in the world of sports. It’s a social, lifelong sport that also accommodates multi-generational players,” continued Warren. “We are creating a tennis ecosystem in the Pacific Northwest so that anyone who wants to play tennis has ample opportunities to do so.”
These new summer play opportunities include the “Play to Learn” and “Family Friendly Tennis” programs that will be held at local parks and outdoor tennis courts. Both are designed to introduce the sport of tennis to families and children to help ensure continued growth of tennis in the region.
Last year, USTA/PNW launched its first new recreational program, “Tennis Afterschool Zone” (TAZ), which introduced the sport to elementary school students. TAZ teaches children life skills and teamwork along with tennis skills at their school. Additionally, a 2013 USTA survey quantified educational, behavioral and health benefits for teens who played tennis. Across all socioeconomic levels, playing tennis was correlated with greater academic achievement and educational aspirations as well as a reduction in risky behaviors such as drug use, truancy and obesity.
Schedules and pricing for Family Friendly Tennis, Play to Learn and TAZ vary by location. For program details or to register, visit bit.ly/ustapnw