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2005 Tennis Programs and Events

Offering Low-Cost Tennis with an Accent on Fun
BCTA board members recognize that not all communities in Bucks County have the ability to enjoy the benefits of tennis due to lack of resources, equipment, instructors and facilities. Therefore, in 2005, a major push of the nonprofit association was to make low-cost tennis opportunities available to all in the county who wish to pursue the sport.

The goal of the BCTA is not to compete with area commercial clubs and teaching professionals, but instead to meet needs for low-cost tennis programs at under-utilized courts in public parks, schools and residential communities throughout the county. From that non-threatening introduction to tennis, interested participants are fed into existing area clubs and programs.

Because the BCTA has no full-time or year-round staff, the association utilizes a network of volunteers, part-time instructors and community/business liaisons to offer a variety of low-cost tennis programs, with an emphasis on fun, for youth, adults and seniors, including school special populations programs.

During its first three years, the BCTA concentrated much of its efforts and resources on organizing and conducting USTA events and programs, including Community Tennis Rallies, USA Tennis Rock & Rally events and USA Tennis Development Coach Workshops. The organization also provided tennis equipment, advice and services (such as grant writing advice, free tickets to Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, advertising for USA Tennis Sites, etc.) to various tennis and community service entities in Bucks County.

In addition, and more important to the long-term future of the organization, the BCTA also spent its first three years building bridges with local park and recreation departments as well as other nonprofit and educational organizations such as Communities That Care, the Girl Scouts of America, Morrisville Middle Schools and Bucks County Community College.

In 2005, the BCTA again hosted a USTA-sanction DR tournament for junior players, initiated in its inaugural year. This growing event provides competitive opportunities for young and beginning tournament players and serves as a fundraiser for the BCTA.

BCTA tennis program expansion began in 2005 with the hiring of 10 part-time tennis instructors to teach the games-approach to tennis at various public park, school and residential tennis courts. In just its fourth year, the BCTA expanded its instructional programming from four (in 2004) to seven sites with more than 125 students.

Additional 2005 Activities
This past year the BCTA:

  • hosted an instructors' workshop open and free to anyone interested in attending. (This was the first such workshop ever to be held in Bucks County.)
  • participated in an annual Fun & Fitness Day (sponsored by the Neshaminy School District and St. Mary Hospital) to promote tennis programs in various communities as part of the USTA's "May Is Tennis Month" promotion. (Approximately 175 people participated in the tennis carnival activities.)
  • promoted the sport of tennis via advertisements, press releases and its web site. (Note: As of June 2005, the BCTA web site recorded over 25,300 page views—more than any other district or CTA web site in the USTA/Middle States section.)
  • served as the official web site of the Buxmont League. (This was a free service.)
  • offered complimentary Arthur Ashe Kids' Day tickets to program participants.
  • sponsored a USTA-sanctioned tournament for junior players .
  • conducted fundraising to help support its mission. (In 2005, approximately 36 percent of the association’s revenue was in-kind or fundraising.)
  • offered a free scholarship to Academic Directions.

 

The Go-To in Tennis
The BCTA has become the point organization for numerous other tennis requests, including:

  • presenting tennis information to the Newtown Rotary.
  • providing used tennis balls to the Bucks County Community College physical education programs and the college’s public business seminar (Michael J. Gelb—"How to Think Like da Vinci").
  • providing used tennis balls to the Sellersville Elementary School (for noise control).
  • providing advice and curriculum materials to the Council Rock Middle School intramural programs, sponsored by the USTA/Middle States section.
  • providing promotional assistance to various new tennis programs such as "The Tennis Club’s" Mixed Doubles for Singles.

BCTA board members also have been appointed to various community boards, including the Beechwood and Veterans’ Park Study Committee to review the Middletown Township Park and Recreation Millennium Master Plan and the Bucks County Courier Times Readers’ Advisory Group.


A True Welcome Center
Despite not having tennis courts of its own, the BCTA has been identified as a Tennis Welcome Center, as it has been a friendly and informative "Welcome to Tennis" to many area residents (and some across the Delaware River in New Jersey). The BCTA fields approximately 2–5 inquiries a week about tennis in Bucks County, ranging from general inquires to specific questions about USA League Tennis and Cardio Tennis.

Disseminated information includes contacts for commercial tennis clubs, teaching professionals and programs in the area as well as contact information for USTA sectional and national staff—and not just information about the BCTA and its programs.

The Tennis Welcome telephone hotline and the BCTA web site have generated a lot of "warm fuzzies" on both ends of the telephone line or e-mail message and helped get many people into the great game of tennis.

 

Web Site
To date, the BCTA is the only community tennis association in the USTA/Middle States section to employ the USTA content management system. The BCTA web site offers standard information about its mission, goals and activities as well as information about USA Tennis programs within Bucks County and any relevant tennis news to county residents.

In 2003, with the help of USTA web management staff, the BCTA set up an area of its site to provide a free service to the Buxmont League, a competitive women's doubles league with nearly 800 participants. This service included scoring and standing updates, roster listings, contact information, and directions to tennis facilities participating in the league.

In June 2005, USTA web usage report indicated that the BCTA web site recorded over 25,300 page views—more than any other district or CTA web site in the USTA/Middle States section.  At the end of 2005, the BCTA web site was selected as the USTA/Philadelphia District Web Site of the Year as well as the USTA/Middle States Web Site of the Year.

Thanks to All
In sum, the BCTA continues to work toward providing low-cost tennis opportunities and tennis information to get Bucks County residents quickly and easily into the great game of tennis.

Once again, the BCTA board thanks all those who have contributed to its success.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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