Friday, January 22, 2016

Minutes of the Community Junior Tennis Program January 9, 2016 Meeting

First, thank you so much for attending the meeting and contributing to organizing and planning this year's junior tennis program.  Attending were:  Justine, Terry, Ellen, Isabelle, Della, Stephanie, Jennifer, Sam, Bill, James, Mindy, Sven, and Damon. 
My apologies for the excessive length of the meeting.  In the future, meetings will divided into more defined subject matter. 
1.  Overview of 2015 programs:  promoted the sport of tennis, and provided tennis related activity throughout the summer for our junior tennis community.  
2.  Goals for 2016 programs:  to continue those programs and events, expand upon them, and make them more efficient by providing tennis opportunities for our kids and the community -- at no, or minimal, cost to the kids.
3.  Financial report:  from donations, sponsors, and contributors, there is a total of $3,095.96 in the Junior Community Tennis Program Fund.  $2,500 was from an anonymous donor.  That is an excellent start to the programs being planned for this year.  In order to support this year's events, donations regarding water, snacks, administrative supplies will still be solicited.  The most significant anticipated expenditures would be for balls, T-shirts, and trophies -- $200, $450, and $500, respectively.  Renting a port-a-potty could cost another $100.  Medals for participating in the Tennis Academy could cost about $100.  Whether trophies or medals be awarded for winners and second and third places, could run another $150 to $500.  Support for just the tennis academy, the tournament, and the ladder challenge could cost between $1,500 and $1,850.  It could go higher depending upon ball replacement needs and what items are actually donated.  I like to change out the balls that are used for lessons once a quarter.  There will also be a cost for a tennis family picnic. 

        Sponsorships:  so far, for this year, Big 5 (thanks to James) has donated 3 cases of tennis balls, and we may have an agreement for more balls in the future.  We are attempting to get an extended  commitment from Big 5. James has also drafted a form letter to explore the possibility of acquiring sponsorships from 10 other tennis related corporations.  All ten letters have been sent;  but, no replies have been received as yet. 
       4.  Facilities update:  as far as building tennis courts in Carrie Blake Park is concerned, the project has been listed in the City's Master Plans and approved by the City Counsel.  The plan is to build 4 courts to USTA specifications.  However, the project has not been funded.  Grants will be applied for to assist in construction costs.  There is a diagram in City Hall and on the internet depicting the location of the courts. 
Terry gave an overview and status of the Sequim Tennis Community Fund, created to help the city in financing construction.  As a result of a transfer of $500 to the city, the city has created a special account for tennis court construction. 
Indoor court access status:  James has approached the owners of the very large, but unoccupied, stores at the QFC shopping center regarding using them as indoor courts for Ten And Under Tennis.  Such a program could work.  So far, no responses.  However, the nearest indoor courts are located in Bremerton -- the Kitsap Tennis and Athletic Club (KTAC).  I have communicated with their directors, Derek Hilt and now William Herbert, several times over the past 4 years regarding having playdays at their facility.  They were both agreeable;  however, there wasn't enough signed up on this end to make it worthy.  William is still amenable to doing it.  We will try it again this year. 
5.  Youth programs for 2016: 
Challenge ladder competition:  a challenge ladder will be maintained again this year.  It will be divided by gender and age.  The ladder will commence on 1 February and end on 1 August.  The first 3 placements in each division will receive an award.  An email requesting sign-ups and depicting rules will be forthcoming soon.  Ellen and I will be overseeing the event.  Regarding painting Ten-and-Under-Tennis (TAUT) court lines on one of the lower courts, Justine has verified that that will not affect varsity play and she will support painting such lines.  I will be preparing a letter requesting approval of the school district.                  
Summer camp and/or academy:  it was decided to conduct a tennis academy this summer -- similar to last year.  The academy would take place during the week of 18 July.  Participants will be limited to approximately 30 juniors.  The 3 upper courts have already been reserved from 9 until noon on those days.  Participants will receive medals.  Volunteers, balls, water, snacks, bathroom access, admin supplies will be needed.
Tournament:  the tournament will be held during the week of 25 July -- the week after the tennis academy.   It will be divided by gender and age -- a maximum of 12 divisions.  The first 3 placements in each division will receive trophies.  We will need to get the word out in order to increase participation.  The courts have already been reserved:  from 9 to noon and 1 to 3 each day.  We can get more court time if needed.  Volunteers, balls, water, snacks, bathroom access, admin supplies, and trophies will be needed.  The juniors at the meeting indicated that we needed a name for the tournament -- any suggestions? 
Private/group lessons:  will go on as before -- sign-ups for appointments for private and group lessons.  For TAUT lessons, pressure-less balls will be used.  Yellow tennis balls will be used for 11 year olds and older.  We may be getting access to the Sunland tennis courts during the SHS tennis seasons.  The court at the State park might also be available.  We'll see. 
Cardio-tennis:  workouts will take place at least once per week -- perhaps twice.  The Tennis Industrial Association has sponsorship of the program as well as certifying approved providers -- a certification that I have earned.  We will continue on the SHS courts;  but, I have been asked by the Sunland golf and tennis court manager if cardio-tennis can be made available on the Sunland courts.  I have agreed, but I am still awaiting confirmation.  Cardio will be more consistent this year, even if we do it with smaller numbers. 
USTA Promotional:  we need more discussion on this.  It would best be scheduled either just before the  tennis academy or just after the tournament.  At any rate, I need to contact the USTA to check for promotional items, etc. 
Tennis Across America event:  for 4 out of 5 events, we were the only site in the State of Washington that offered this one-day event.  We averaged about 90 participants for each event.  It is USPTA sponsored.  We need more feed back on this.  It involves doing a one-day, free tennis clinic.  And, it should be done before the academy. 
Wheelchair tennis:  I am working for certification.  This is something very personal with me, since I am a veteran, with multiple tours in Vietnam. 
USTA Junior Tennis League:  we have tried to organize this in the past 3 years.  To make it work, we need a team comprised of players from the Peninsula.  In previous years, we only had 3 or 4 juniors interested in doing it.  So, I kind of gave up.  Initially, I tried to organize a league (not USTA) and contacted KTAC, Bainbridge Island Tennis Club, Port Townsend, and someone on Whitbey Island.  There was a lot of interest in doing something.  But, then, we couldn't get enough participants to make a go of it -- all of those who were interested were 10 and under.  We will try again this year. 
Playdays:  this, with increased participation, can be easily arranged.  Will Herbert, the Tennis Director at KTAC, is supportive and quite eager to assist us in doing this.  Such playdays would be great for our kids, too.  It would give them plenty of playing experience, and could motivate to move on in the sport.  It would be super!  I believe that the same thing can be arranged at other area clubs as well.  I had contact with a club pro in Olympia who wanted to do the same thing -- but, I feel it's rather too far away for us. 
Family tennis picnic/s:  yes, good opportunity for socialization.  When?  Need more feedback here. 
6.  Volunteers:  we can't do any of this without help.  Volunteers are essential.  In the past, we have had an average of 23 volunteers at each of our summer camps.   Ellen, for example, has volunteered to help with the ladder challenge program.  We will need coaches and assistants for the tennis academy for three courts, people to make various 10-15 minute presentations (subjects to be determined), someone to lead dynamic warm-ups and static cool-downs, people to help set up and take down equipment on the courts, and administrators to assist in off-court tasks.  We will need volunteers to help with the tournament -- setting up, administrative, and securing.  There will be requests for volunteers for other events as well. 
Committees:  will be called upon to assist in making decisions, making rules, and organizing and executing planned events.  For example:  the T-shirt committee, so far, is comprised of Stephanie and Isabelle -- and they are checking out both Customink and Copycat T-shirts.  It would be desirable to have an awards committee to assist in determining appropriate trophies and medal awards.  Last year, we purchased trophies from TrophyCentral and medals from ExpressMedals.  We will need a picnic committee and maybe a water/snacks committee. 
 7.  USTA sanctioned tournaments:  we have a number of juniors who have expressed an interest in participating in USTA sanctioned tournaments this year.  Last year, six of our juniors were entered in such tournaments.  There may be more this year.  They are encouraged to do so.  First, they must be a member of the USTA, Junior Membership, about $20.  Then, check out area junior tournaments list in the USTA web pages.  New competitors should look for entry level or beginner level tournaments and enter according to gender and age group.  I also frequently email appropriate tournament schedules to our program kids. 
8.  Do we need to form a juniors' tennis club?  The consensus was in the affirmative.  We seem to be heading that way.  We need to discuss that issue further.  It was tried before, but it faltered.  If the decision is to go ahead, then we need to decide upon who will manage it -- parents or kids.  USTA Junior Club membership would seem to be the next logical step if such a club is formed.  
9.  Immediate action is required:
        a.  Sign-ups for the challenge ladder.  (Don)  Promulgate rules.  (Ellen/Don)  Start February 1. 
        b.  Letter to Sequim school district regarding painting TAUT lines.  (Don)
        c.  Notifications to media.  (Don)
        d.  Email to USTA and USPTA regarding promotion of tennis events.  (Don)
        e.  Reserve tennis courts for academy and tournament.  (Don)  OK -- done.
        f.   Determine T-shirt color/design for academy.  (Stephanie, Isabelle, .....)
        g.  Trophies (?)
        h.   Volunteers for events and committees. 
        i.    Name for tournament. 
        j.    More action items next month. 
That's about it -- for now.  If there are any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contribute. 
Happy hitting,

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