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Presidents Letter May 2020

May 2020 President’s Letter

I am very thankful to report that with the coronavirus pandemic appearing to plateau in Kentucky, some local governments and tennis clubs are opening up outdoor courts and following the USTA guidelines for safe return to play.  It seems Governor Beshear has placed indoor play at tennis clubs on phase 2 of his Healthy at Work plan with a projected opening date of June 1. USTA KY sent a letter to the Healthy at Work portal explaining the unique merits of tennis versus other sports and how if our indoor clubs followed CDC guidelines, local/state guidelines and those from the USTA National Medical Advisory Committee, they should be given strong consideration to open during phase 1 in May. 

May is traditionally the last month of high school tennis and we have been honoring high school seniors on our social media. Also, the Kentucky High School Tennis Coaches Association is currently seeking nominations from coaches in every region for a senior only All-State team along with a Mr. and Miss Kentucky Tennis.  Please encourage your local coach to submit a nomination for a deserving senior. 

The USTA KY Board meeting and retreat was held on April 25 via Zoom.  We discussed our mission statement, vision statement and reviewed goals for 2020 and 2021.  Our goals will be to plan and host a “tennis summit” to include representatives of major stakeholders in Kentucky tennis, develop a Kentucky facility and provider database for every county in the state, attract and retain diverse and younger players, develop a plan to attract and retain new volunteers for CTA’s and USTA KY, establish an ad hoc committee on Parks and Recreation to develop a guidebook to successfully lobby local governments to maintain and increase tennis courts, preserve Kentucky tennis history and consider an update of our strategic plan and review of our bylaws.  It is an ambitious agenda, but one that I think we can tackle to fulfill our mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis and our vision of tennis for people of all ages and abilities in every community in Kentucky.  If you are interested in giving back to the sport we all love, please let me know and we can find a place for you to volunteer. 

Last month, I mentioned the “Tennis Starts with Love” response by USTA KY and the Raise A Racquet Foundation to assist our tennis professionals and officials.  I am pleased to report that $11,845 has been raised so far and funds have been distributed to 26 worthy recipients.  We are still taking applications and hope to be of further assistance.  USTA Southern has committed $2,000,000 to the Southern CARES program to aid tennis pros, facilities and other areas of need.  USTA National along with tennis industry partners has formed Tennis Industry United and committed $50,000,000 in assistance which should primarily benefit grassroots tennis in 2020 and 2021. 

As everyone is aware, USTA National has suspended all programming through the end of May.  The USTA KY staff and committees have been working diligently on plans to hopefully restart our league programming along with junior and adult tournaments this summer.  We plan to concentrate on local league play and hope to have state championships later this year. 

We are starting to see some play this month and anticipate most courts will open to play in June.  Please observe the guidelines from USTA National on playing tennis safely as we restart playing the sport we love. 

 

Mike Eden

 

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