About Aces In Motion (AIM)

Aces in Motion Gainesville FL TennisThe Aces in Motion After-School Program is a free youth program for middle and high school participants from Alachua County. AIM promotes character development through enrichment, academic achievement, and healthy lifestyles to individuals of all abilities. AIM partners with our participants to build a community of youth and adults that work, learn, and play hard TOGETHER! The Aces in Motion (AIM) program is the largest GACTA program and is designed to serve under-resourced youth and people with disabilities living in Gainesville, FL.  Our long term vision is to provide a safe and positive place where the youth of the community can attend an after-school program and receive skills and assistance to lead healthy productive lives with a solid educational and a fulfilling career.

Our Vision

gainesville-tennis-aces-in-motion-aim-gacta-usta-gainesville kids tennisThe Aces in Motion’s primary goals are to provide tennis and physical fitness instruction, life skills mentoring (discipline, team work, goal setting, problem solving, respect, and conflict resolution), and an enrichment academic curriculum in an after-school environment.

Aces in Motion 

On January 1, 2014, GACTA hired its first Executive Director, Addison Staples in a part-time position, and GACTA became not only a USTA Community Tennis Association but also an National Junior Tennis and Learning Chapter (NJTL). This nationwide network of non-profit youth-development organizations, now under the USTA Foundation umbrella, provides low-cost tennis and education programming to more than 225,000 under-resourced youth. This arm of GACTA became known as Aces in Motion, and in the past four years, has become the largest part of GACTA. From 1/2015-12/2017,  GACTA has been part of the USTA Foundation’s NJTL Capacity Building Program, a program that helps selected NJTL chapters grow sustainably by providing  mentorship, grants, convenings, and other support.

In 2016, GACTA was the recipient of the USTA’s NJTL Chapter of the Year Award, and was USTA Florida’s Member Organization of the Year.

Over the past seven years, Aces in Motion has developed many community partners, including the City of Gainesville, the Gainesville Police Department, 21st CCLC, the University of Florida, Special Olympics Florida, the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, charter schools, and other non-profit organizations.

We are now a funded United Way Impact Partner, funded by the Alachua County Poverty Reduction Program (CAPP) and is an agency in the UF Campaign for Charities.

In 2016, Aces in Motion programming reached over 1000 youth from low income families or with special needs.

Aces in Motion programming includes:

  1. AIM After-School Program: Serves youth, with a focus on middle grades students, from low-income families and emphasizes academic achievement, character development and physical activity through tennis. We provide tutoring, mentorship, ACT/SAT prep, enrichment activities, and other academic support to our participants. This program is operated at a city Recreation Center with tennis courts, and runs five days per week.
  2. Gators in Motion: A partnership between AIM and the UF Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sports Management. This after-school program provides an introduction to college life, exposure to career pathways, and access to one-on-one tutoring from UF students. Starting in the 2017-18 school year, AIM students will spend three afternoons per week at UF.
  3. Coaches in Training (CIT): Once in 9th grade, AIM participants can enter the CIT program, which focuses on goal setting, college and career readiness, community service, and leadership training. This program can lead to employment as an AIM coach.
  4. Tennis/Life Skills Outreach: We provide our tennis-based curriculum at more than ten sites, including schools, centers and low-income neighborhooods, reaching over 400 youth people each week.
  5. AIM Adaptive Tennis: Provides opportunities for teens and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities to learn the game of tennis, stay active and become part of the AIM team.