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United States Tennis Association (USTA) Offers Pre-Conference In-Service Workshop on School Tennis for PE Teachers at FAHPERDS Conference in Orlando, FL on October 8

Orlando, FL, September 18, 2009 --( The United States Tennis Association (USTA) will offer a pre-conference, in-service workshop on teaching tennis in the schools for PE teachers attending the FAHPERDS (Florida Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance and Sport) Conference in Orlando, Florida on October 8, 2009. The in-service workshop will show PE teachers how to introduce the fun sport of tennis to students at school, in non-traditional settings such as a gym or blacktop, with limited equipment and no prior knowledge of tennis. Teachers will enjoy a fun-filled 3 hours of hands-on instruction as a USTA trainer takes them through the same activities that they would use to introduce their students to tennis. Due to the physical nature of the workshop, attendees should wear comfortable clothing they can move in and tennis/athletic shoes.

PE teachers who attend the entire workshop and sign their school up for membership with the USTA (a $35 annual fee) will receive a free 8-lesson-plan curriculum written by PE expert Dr. Robert Pangrazi that gives them all they need to introduce their students to the sport—plus a free starter kit of tennis equipment for their school, which includes 9 age-appropriate rackets and 1 dozen transition tennis balls—a value of about $300. Also, as a USTA organization member, the school will be able to purchase additional equipment at deeply discounted prices. Every workshop attendee will also receive a t-shirt. Teachers will learn that, with the USTA’s resources, they can easily introduce tennis to their students, even if they have never played before, don’t have access to tennis courts, and don’t have the budget to buy equipment for every student.

The USTA school tennis workshop will be held at the Caribe Royale hotel in Orlando, location of the FAHPERDS conference, from 2 – 5 p.m. on October 8. It is free for FAHPERDS members who are attending the conference; for those not attending and for non-members, the fee is $50. To register online for the workshop, visit and click the box in the upper left corner of the home page; that links to the online registration process. Attendees may register up to the day of the workshop (October 8) and may do so onsite. For more information, call Rebecca Halpern of the USTA at 386-671-8928 or email her at

At the workshop, teachers will be shown the USTA’s cutting edge in-school tennis curriculum, which has eight easy-to-follow lesson plans created for teachers, by teachers that can be used in any school environment. Written in conjunction with renowned physical education expert, Dr. Robert Pangrazi, the lessons are:

Based on NASPE standards.

Designed to fit unique time and scheduling needs.

Flexible enough to accommodate small and large groups.

Fun and challenging for all kids and adaptable for students with special needs.

Targeted towards grades 3-6 and can be adapted to higher and lower grade levels.

Able to be taught on any flat surface - No courts required!

Lessons include group activities and station teaching, so that all kids in a class are engaged and having fun.

Says PE teacher Leslie Fisher, Fitzgerald Elementary, Arlington, TX: “The USTA curriculum gave me as a PE teacher a valuable tool to not only teach a fabulous tennis lesson [even though she had never played tennis]…but also I have management tools for year-round that help me manage large groups of kids safely, and camouflage fitness as fun…It really has changed my PE teaching and my life.”

“For a physical educator or coach, nothing can be more satisfying than to give a student a sport that can positively impact a young life. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing when you bring the sport of tennis to your school. Now it is easier than ever with resources and training available from the USTA,” said Andy McFarland, Associate Executive Director, Play Tennis Division, USTA. “We’ve also made it easy for your school to get tennis equipment that is appropriate for your students’ sizes and ages. The modified equipment makes the game fun, safe, and engaging for kids. You can run tennis programs in any school setting (in a gym, parking lot, etc.) and get kids playing immediately. The equipment includes smaller rackets that kids can handle, and modified tennis balls that move at the appropriate speed and bounce at the appropriate height; this gives kids a perceived competency in the sport right away, and they gain confidence from the very beginning. Learning about tennis not only gets your students active and helps them stay healthy; it also enriches their lives, gives them self-confidence, and introduces them to a fun sport that they can play for a lifetime.”

Established in 1881, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) is a progressive and diverse not-for-profit organization whose more than 700,000 members, thousands of volunteers, professional staff, and financial resources support a single mission: to promote and develop the growth of tennis from the grass-roots to the professional levels. USTA is also the national governing body for the sport of tennis and the recognized leader in promoting and developing the sport’s growth on every level in the United States, from local communities to the crown jewel of the professional game, the US Open. For more information, visit To learn more about the Tennis in the Schools program, click on “Coaches” and then choose “Schools.”

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