» News

Growing the Game by Playing in New Regions

Bridging an Ocean: Growing the Game by Playing in New Regions

In how many USTA Regions have you played tennis?

The LI Region is one of six in the Eastern Section, and Eastern is one of 17 Sections across the country. In fact, USTA tennis is played in all 50 states as well the Caribbean.

Throughout its Sections, the USTA’s mission is “to develop and promote the game of tennis.” Every member makes that a reality in his or her own way.  A recent visit to the San Juan area of Puerto Rico showed that despite differing languages, USTA membership is a common link that brings people together to help grow the game.

The USTA’s Caribbean Section (http://www.caribbean.usta.com/) has two Regions: Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. Puerto Rican member organization and three-time Caribbean Section Outstanding Facility of the Year, the Isla Verde Tennis Club (www.islaverdetennis.com), has been located in Carolina, P.R. since 1979. The club is conveniently located near San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and a short drive from Old San Juan and the beaches of Condado and Isla Verde. The club’s four lighted hard courts and a hitting wall are situated within a beautiful park. With clinics for everyone from beginners to advanced players, a pee-wee through tournament player junior program, ball machines, lessons from USPTR pros, 24-hour stringing and its unique “Looking for a Game” program, the club says it provides “every tennis-nut with an outstanding tennis experience.”

Tennis Club Director Kamil Assad proudly shows off his club’s three USTA awards to visitors. Assad, who has been with Isla Verde Tennis for 18 years, is eager to share the tennis experience with locals and visitors alike. He encourages anyone traveling to the area to take some time to enjoy a game or two of tennis in the beautiful Puerto Rican sun. Don’t have a hitting partner? Don’t worry! Assad is happy to connect visiting players with locals by providing phone numbers and including newcomers in planned events such as the weekly Sunday morning round-robin doubles tournament. While some of the round-robin participants speak only Spanish, the common language at the club is USTA tennis.

By visiting member organizations across the country when they travel, LI Region members can not only have a great time competing against others with similar interests but also help support the USTA’s mission to grow the game. Next time you travel, make it a “working” vacation and help develop and promote the game of tennis. How many of USTA’s 17 Sections have you played in?