USTA, NLC Team Up to Bring Tennis to Cities’ After-School Programs
October 10, 2019
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the National League Cities (NLC) have announced that they have joined forces in a pilot initiative to promote children’s physical activity while developing social emotional skills that will last through their lifetimes.
Under the pilot program, three cities will incorporate quality tennis instruction based on USTA’s Net Generation curriculum and coaching support into their local afterschool programs, with an eye to ensuring children and youth who are underserved and from lower-income communities have meaningful access to the sport.
With generous support from the USTA, NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) will select three cities to implement at least two six-week sessions of tennis instruction over the next year into afterschool or summer programs located throughout their citywide afterschool system, including their city-sponsored afterschool programs as well as school- and community-based programs. All participating programs will receive free state of the art tennis equipment and provider training. The goal is to provide tennis exposure to as many children and youth as possible to keep them healthy and learn new skills. NLC will meet regularly with the cities’ programs teams to review their afterschool program landscape to determine which programs can expand to include tennis, and USTA will help the selected cities access, improve and expand their local tennis facilities infrastructure.
“We could not be more excited to partner with the National League Cities as we make the game of tennis accessible to families across the country,” said Craig Morris, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. “As we look to get more kids in the game through Net Generation we are looking forward to welcoming more cities into the partnership in the coming years.”
The YEF Institute has a long track record of helping cities, towns and villages build strong local coordinated citywide afterschool networks – including supporting the 50 statewide afterschool networks across the country – that offer the benefits of afterschool and summer learning programing with the goal of strengthening social and emotional skills such as teamwork, communication, perseverance, integrity, and leadership as well as career and college readiness that will last through a child’s lifetime.
“This partnership with USTA allows NLC to combine our resources to provide children of all backgrounds the opportunity to learn a new sport while building the life skills that will benefit them for the future.” said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. “We are excited to see what our pilot cities can achieve and look forward to expanding this partnership with USTA.”
Net Generation aims to inspire the next generation of tennis players by embracing all aspects of youth play for kids ages 5-18. The objective of Net Generation is to provide a kid-friendly, safe connection to the sport, as well as a platform to celebrate individuality and self-expression. For the first time, American tennis has one unified youth brand for children to get into the sport. Net Generation makes it easier for kids and their parents to learn about tennis and get into the game in schools, parks and tennis clubs across the country. To learn more or sign up for free, please visit NetGeneration.com.