October 2012 - Parks & Recreation - 29

USTA

courts, " says BCTA President Barbara
Long. " We started in 2005 with 55 participants. Now we have over 1,300 [and
that doesn't include] an additional 1,323
in PE tennis 'play days.' "
The positive effects of tennis advocacy played a role in 2011 when the City
of Macon, Georgia, held an election for
a one-cent increase in the Special Local
Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). If passed,
the tennis division of parks would receive almost $3 million. Approximately
$1.2 million was allocated for the existing 24-court tennis center, $500,000 to
the 12-feeder sites, and the remainder
would be used to build a brand-new
16-court tennis facility.
" As tennis manager, " says Carl Hodge,
tennis manager for Macon-Bibb County Parks and Recreation, " I wanted to
have a better looking tennis facility and
pass the SPLOST, but as an employee,
I wasn't allowed to go out and lobby.
However, I could relay the facts to the
Macon Tennis Association [MTA] and
they in turn could make the decision
to endorse it. "
The MTA had a reach of more than

2,000 citizens. Advocacy played a role
for the support and eventual passing
of SPLOST.
Hooking up with a CTA might take
a little legwork initially, but once roles
and boundaries are established, both
sides benefit. Mary Henderson, retired
director of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources for Cary, North Carolina, and current committee chair for
USTA Tennis in the Parks, says, " For
park and recreation professionals interested in promoting program growth,
maximizing facility use, and building community support and advocacy,

especially in these difficult economic
times, " she says, " I recommend that
you create or expand a relationship
with your CTA. "
Park and recreation departments
have tennis courts; CTAs have resources, funding, the backing of the
USTA, and a seemingly endless supply of volunteers. Together, you can
form an unbeatable doubles team. In
the words of Scott Hannover, director of tennis for Plaza Tennis Center,
a Kansas City, Missouri, park and recreation facility, " Parks plus CTAs equal
tennis for everyone. "

WHERE DO I START?
USTA.COM is a great launch pad. Once there, be sure to check out the following:
■

■

■

■

■

Your District and your Section-These organizations
will network and lobby for you.
Tennis in the Parks (TIP)-Committed to helping park
agencies stay current with the sport, connecting facilities with available grants, hooking up with a TIP Peer
Advisor, and providing free marketing materials.
Community Tennis Association-Provides an array of
information including how to form and register a CTA.
Many park agencies have found success in forming
their own CTAs.
Resources-USTA offers three types of facility assistance.www.usta.com/Facilities/facility_services
Advocacy-Not sure how to get the support of your
elected officials and other community members?
Learn how to utilize advocacy as a driving component

■

■

to achieving your tennis goals. Visit USTA's The Big
Serve at www.usta.com/About-USTA/TheBigServe
for more information. Furthermore, USTA employs
advocacy consultants. " Many of our clients have visions, but they don't know where or how to start, "
says David Lasota, USTA's national technical consultant. That's where USTA advocacy consultants
come into play.
Technical-The USTA's technical team can offer your
park agency everything from concept plans to professional construction document review.
Financial-Looking for money to resurface, renovate,
or acquire permanent Quick-Start lines? Get more information about the various facilities grants offered by
USTA at www.usta.com.

WWW.NRPA.ORG | OCTOBER 2012 |

Parks & Recreation

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October 2012 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of October 2012 - Parks & Recreation

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