The USTA recently announced today that in celebration of May as National Tennis Month, the association is honoring the Tennis Mom all month while conducting festivities nationwide to foster tennis participation. This 13th year of National Tennis Month comes at great time for tennis, as recent data from the USTA and Tennis Industry Association shows that tennis participation in the United States has topped 30 million players for the first time in more than two decades. Tennis participation has grown 12% over 2008 and in all age groups under the age of 50 and within all ethnicities.
"Tennis participation in the U.S. is enjoying a major resurgence and National Tennis Month is our annual celebration of the sport," said Lucy S. Garvin, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. "We are using National Tennis Month as a platform to recognize the countless contributions that tennis moms have made to the game in introducing young people to a sport that they can enjoy all of their lives. As a mom who worked closely with my own two children from the time they were first learning the game until their college days, I understand the commitment it takes and I commend moms around the country for all they do to grow the sport."
TennisMonth.com is featuring a daily "Mom Spotlight" which recognizes the contributions of 31 women from across the country who are actively involved in the sport and who have contributed to the growth and success of the game. The site also hosts the "Tennis Celebrates Moms Sweepstakes," which allows anyone to nominate and thank their mom (or a mom they know) for sharing their passion and encouragement for tennis. Four winners will be selected at random for a weekly prize, and the month-long celebration will conclude with a random grand prize winner receiving a trip for four—including hotel and travel expenses—to the 2010 US Open.
"I am proud to be part of the USTA's National Tennis Month initiative this year," said Tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert, who will take part in a media day in New York on May 13th. "Tennis has always had a strong place in my life and in my family. I am also excited to be honoring Tennis Moms, who have such an important role in growing the game."
Evert, who has the best winning percentage in the history of professional tennis (.900) and is the winner of 18 Grand Slam singles titles, grew up in a family full of tennis players and is the mother of three sons.
To celebrate tennis at the local level, the USTA once again will hold "Tennis Block Parties" – a nationwide series of tennis festivals designed to increase tennis participation in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Hosted at more than 145 public parks, schools and tennis facilities, "Tennis Block Parties" will feature tennis instruction by skilled teaching professionals and special guests. The "Tennis Block Parties" also will include interactive games and attractions, offering participants the opportunity to learn and enjoy the many benefits of the sport.
The events are free to the public and are designed for people of all ages and abilities, from lifetime players to those who have never picked up a racquet. Tennis has proven to be an inexpensive activity for the entire family and 70% of all tennis in the U.S. is played on public courts.
Some "Tennis Block Parties" also will feature kids tennis and the QuickStart Tennis play format for children age 10-and-under which features equipment, courts and scoring specifically tailored to the age and size of the child. To find a "Tennis Block Party" in your area, visit tennismonth.com.
To get started playing tennis in a location near you visit the USTA's Tennis Welcome Center . Find more tennis technique information at the USTA Player Development Web site .