Florence Tennis Association’s TENNIS APPRENTICE initiates 35 new players

FLORENCE, SC – The first session of Tennis Apprentice began Friday evening, April 29, as 35 novice adults turned out for instruction.

The program, which centers around six weeks of 90 minute Friday night classes, is subsidized by the Florence Tennis Association, the City of Florence, and the Head Sporting Goods Company to introduce new adult players to the sport.

The FTA pays the certified professional instructors, the City provides courts at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Tennis Center, and Head gives each participant a new tennis racquet. All of this, plus a one year membership in the US Tennis Association and the FTA, is available for only $49. According to FTA President Ernie James, “We are offering this program because we love tennis and want to share it. We believe that people who get started the right way will stick with the sport and bring others into it. The money we are putting out now will come back to us many times over as these new players get involved in tournaments, leagues, and advanced instruction.” James added that most of what people pay for Tennis Apprentice goes for the USTA membership, which each player must buy before taking part in the program, but that membership is also a prerequisite for league and tournament play.

The first session of Tennis Apprentice will end on June 3. Two other six-week sessions are slated for this summer, beginning on June 24 and August 27. Adults who would like to sign up for one of these sessions can contact the Tennis Center at 843-665-3106. The teaching team will be headed by USPTA-certified teaching pro Ron James and is designed for beginning and inexperienced players. “Our goal,” said James, “is to teach the basic strokes and strategies and to make people feel so comfortable on court that they will want to play on a regular basis. Ideally, we hope they will love tennis as much as we do.”

The FTA is an all volunteer non-profit that works to grow the game of tennis in the greater Florence area by conducting clinics, tournaments, and other activities and working with area governments and businesses to make certain that first-rate tennis facilities are available to the public. On numerous occasions the FTA has earned grants or provided its own funds to support tennis activities for the community.

For More Information Contact: Ernie James, ej.tennis@sc.rr.com; Paul Pittman, FTA Development Chair, pmpittman@gmail.com ; or Charlotte Forrest, Program Coordinator, barkercharla@yahoo.com.

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