USTA Colorado
3300 E. Bayaud Avenue
Suite 201
Denver, CO  80209
303-695-4116

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TennisFest opens doors to diverse communities

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May 24, 2016 12:10 PM
FREE Tennis at the Diversity TennisFest

 

Are you interested in volunteering your time and help spread the game of tennis?

USTA Colorado will be hosting its 10th annual Diversity TennisFest on Saturday, June 4th from 10am-noon on the courts at the Regency Athletic Complex at Metropolitan State University of Denver. This will my seventh year as a volunteer and an on court overseer. 

The goal of the Diversity TennisFest is to promote and develop growth of the sport in diverse, under-served communities, including those with special needs. I joined the team of volunteers, tennis professionals and players in 2010 and have seen the many lives the event still continues to touch, the young and old, those that have never stepped on a tennis court to the ones that decide to pick up a racquet for the first time, to wheelchair and special needs participants.

My first exposure to the event was at the Denver City Park during the Denver Black Arts Festival. I met the wonderful staff of the USTA Colorado including the Marketing and Diversity Director, Paula McClain and Community Development Director, Kristy Harris. Denver City Park was the first stage of this yearly event since 2008. Teaching professionals, volunteers and players, along with Denver Parks and Recreation, assisted with a variety of free tennis activities to over 200 participants! To reach other communities, the Diversity TennisFest series further reached out to those that attended the Colorado Dragon Boat and Cinco De Mayo Festivals. By marrying arts and culture with athletics, participants were provided access to community resources and information about various tennis programs offered throughout the city. In addition, festival goers were able to participate in a healthy family activity in a fun festive environment while learning the benefits of the great, life-long sport of tennis. 

In the years that followed, the event was held at Berkeley and Montbello Parks, and now at MSU Denver. For the past seven years, over 800 youth tennis racquets were given away to encourage continued play. In addition, Denver Park and Recreation has given away discount coupons for their Citywide Tennis summer programs. The Diversity TennisFest continues to draw huge attendance yearly and so far more than 1500 kids have enjoyed free tennis.

A flourishing media partnership with Telemundo Denver has enabled USTA Colorado to further their reach to market to the bilingual Latino audience. For the third straight year, Diversity TennisFest helps Telemundo Denver achieve their goal to provide health and wellness information to their viewers. In addition, Telemundo Denver’s news personalities are on hand to hit balls with the attendees. 

 Ultimately, by participating in the Diversity TennisFest as tennis teaching professionals, we can continue to inspire a whole new generation of tennis players. Join the Colorado USPTA pros, USTA Colorado and its diversity committee members, volunteers and longtime partner, Denver Parks and Recreation, and now, new supporter, Metropolitan State University Roadrunners Tennis. Together, we can engage youth and provide opportunities to get out and play the sport during the summer or at their schools. 

To volunteer, please contact Anita by calling 303/695-4116 extension 200. To be a future partner or sponsor, please contact Lisa Schaefer, Associate Director, at extension 201.

 

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