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SPOTLIGHT

 

SRU, USTA team for trend-setting tennis program


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University officials announced Wednesday the University will be one of the first colleges or universities in the nation to implement the United States Tennis Association 10 and Under QuickStart Tennis play format into its physical education curriculum.

SRU and the USTA will begin implementation of the QST program with an on-court workshop April 27 in Slippery Rock.

“We are excited and proud to be on the cutting edge of this program,” said Matt Meredith, SRU’s women’s tennis coach and the local 10 and Under Tennis program coordinator. “The fact SRU will be one of the first colleges or universities to implement this program is a tribute to everyone associated with SRU’s nationally known physical education curriculum and K-12 teacher preparation program.”

“We cannot thank Dr. Betsy McKinley, physical education department chair, and her staff enough for the support they have and will continue to give us in this project,” Meredith said. “Through their cooperation, SRU will become the western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio hub for developmental tennis.”

SRU’s physical education curriculum and K-12 teacher preparation program serves more than 400 majors, McKinley said.

“We have a top-notch, state-of-the art teacher preparation program in PE at SRU,” she said. “We pride ourselves on staying abreast of current trends in our discipline and also of structuring developmentally appropriate learning experiences across the age spectrum.”

“We’re looking forward to being a partner in one of the first programs of its kind in the United States,” she added. “We feel very fortunate to be working with coach Meredith, the USTA and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association on this program.”

“Our PE faculty are very excited to provide this unique out-reach opportunity to our current PE majors and also to the local community,” McKinley said. “We focus on ‘applied PE’ at SRU and this certainly is a fine example of a much-needed, grass-roots collaboration.”

The workshop, which is being offered free to SRU students, faculty and staff and for a $5 registration fee for all non-SRU personnel, will be from 6-9:30 p.m. on SRU’s outdoor tennis courts or in Morrow Field House in the event of inclement weather.

Proceeds from the workshop registration will support the SRU women’s tennis scholarship program, Meredith said.

The on-court training workshop is designed to assist instructors of all abilities with their involvement in the USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis program using the QST play format.

Included in the workshop will be extensive coverage of the QST play format, practice plans, participant manual, programming knowledge, access to the latest modified equipment and tips on organizing and coaching a USTA Jr. Team Tennis team.

Anne Davis, USTA national manager for recreational coaches and programs, will be the head trainer for the workshop.

To register for the QST Workshop or for more information, contact Meredith 724.738.4504. Information is also available at www.10andUnderTennis.com.

As part of this initiative, SRU will install blended lines on its 12 regulation-sized, 78-foot outdoor tennis courts. The blended lines, which will be paid for by a $4,000 grant from the USTA and Intercollegiate Tennis Association, will create 16 courts that run 36 feet in length and 12 courts that run 60 feet in length and are more conducive to younger players.

“The 10 and Under Tennis play format also utilizes smaller racquets, lower nets and lower compression balls that will result in lower bounces and make it easier for youngsters to play the game,” Meredith said.

The special equipment will be provided through a second $750 grant from the USTA Middle States office, Meredith said,

A unique feature of the 10 and Under Tennis play format, Meredith said, is an actual tennis court is not needed for the program to be set up. “With the special equipment and smaller dimensions, you can really set up a court anywhere you have a flat surface,” he said.

“This is really a win-win situation for everyone,” Meredith said. “We are showcasing SRU’s physical education program and assisting their majors with skill sets they can use when they go into the field of education and as they develop younger tennis players, which benefits the game we all love.”