• Local Award Winners at USTA Florida Annual Meeting

    Alachua County tennis was very well represented at the recent 2010 USTA Florida Annual Awards, which were presented during the 61st annual USTA Florida Annual Meeting and Volunteer Weekend, held on Dec. 3-5, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando. Jonesville Tennis Center received the prestigious Member Organization of the Year Award, and Linda Green won Jr. Team Tennis Local League Coordinator of the Year. The individuals and organizations were honored during the Saturday awards luncheon presentation, and the Sunday “Breakfast with the Stars”.

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    USTA Florida 61st Annual Awards Presentation Highlights Tennis Standouts


    Jonesville Tennis Center in Gainesville
    (Accepting the award, David Porter)
    “Overnight Sensation”

    Much like an actor or singer who vaults from obscurity to superstardom in a relatively short period of time, the Jonesville Tennis Center (JTC) exceeded all expectations since opening in April 2009 as a result of a multi-year community effort that resulted in over $500,000 in donations and in-kind contributions.

    An American Sports Builder Association award winner for Outstanding Facility in the Outdoor Tennis category, the JTC was built to alleviate the overuse of other facilities as well as to grow the game of tennis in the Alachua County area. During its brief existence, the facility has already hosted numerous USTA league teams and multiple USTA junior tournaments as well as helped promote and facilitate USTA Jr. Team Tennis and the USTA QuickStart program.

    In terms of league play, the Jonesville Tennis Center has been a significant supporter, which is evidenced by the fact that in 2010 alone the facility hosted 17 adult league teams, 10 senior league teams, 5 super senior league teams, 12 adult mixed doubles teams, 5 senior mixed doubles teams, 16 combo adult teams, and 2 combo senior teams.


    Linda Green of Gainesville
    “High Hopes”

    According to those who know Linda Green, who serves as area league coordinator of the Gainesville USTA Jr. Team Tennis League, she has done an outstanding job of growing the program thanks to her singular dedication, heart, endurance, skills, and diplomacy. In addition to caring about each child, she works closely with the parents and coaches to ensure that each team has an enjoyably competitive experience at the local level.

    Since taking over the league in the summer of 2006, which was on a hiatus for several years, she has increased participation figures each year. In the fall of 2009, there were 175 players comprising 21 teams; in the spring of 2010, that number swelled to 230 players comprising 24 teams. Additionally, teams from the Gainesville league have attended numerous sectional tournaments over the past several years and experienced great success.

    As if her volunteer agenda wasn’t busy enough, Linda also serves as president of the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association, which provided funding for a pilot program introducing the 10-and-under QuickStart play format at three local elementary schools during the fall of 2009. The program’s success was demonstrated this year (2010-2011) when Quick Start tennis was introduced in almost all the Alachua County elementary schools’ after-school programs. Regardless of the situation, Linda Green maintains decorum and a level-headedness that ensures a solid solution to each crisis, resulting in a boost for junior tennis in Gainesville and the 2010 USTA Jr. Team Tennis Local League Coordinator of the Year award.

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