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USTA Player Development to hold Hispanic-American coaching symposium

May 13, 2016 11:18 AM

By Sally Milano. USTA.com

One of the goals of the USTA is to make tennis reflective of America, inviting all people from all places to get on the court and in the game. To help make that a reality, the USTA's Player Development division is hosting the second in a series of three coaching education symposiums geared toward engaging under-represented coaching communities.

The symposium, focusing on the Hispanic-American coaching community and former top Hispanic-American players, is being held May 13-15 at the USTA Training Center Headquarters in Boca Raton, Fla.

The first symposium, which was held in December 2015, focused on the African-American coaching community, and the third, targeting female coaches, will take place later in 2016.

The symposiums are part of USTA Player Development’s ongoing efforts to create a collaborative partnership with a full spectrum of its American tennis stakeholders. At the symposiums, USTA Player Development looks to share the division’s coaching system and philosophy and discuss potential improvements to enhance its support of specific groups.

A select group of influential Hispanic-American coaches and players from the past 30 years were invited to take part in this three-day meeting. Katrina Adams, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President, USTA; Gordon Smith, Executive Director and COO, USTA; Martin Blackman, General Manager, USTA Player Development and D.A. Abrams, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, USTA, are all scheduled to attend the event.

“Reaching out to and engaging the Hispanic-American community has been one of the tenets of my term as president of the USTA,” said Adams. “This symposium is just one way that we have tried to increase this outreach and engage in a population that is so greatly underrepresented in the sport of tennis in America.”

At the symposium, USTA Player Development aims to share concepts and give insights into its overall philosophy while also listening and learning from the experiences and knowledge of those in attendance.

Discussion and instruction will take place both in the classroom and on the court. The discussions will be designed to take the collective knowledge and experience of the group and use it to identify tactics and recommendations that the USTA can utilize to improve its developmental support of Hispanic-American players and coaches.

“By holding these symposiums, we are not only reaching out to groups that are often underrepresented in the sport of tennis, but we are learning what their struggles and concerns may be, while at the same time attempting to give them a better understanding of how we are trying to remedy those same issues,” said Blackman. “The Hispanic-American community has some of the greatest coaches in the game of tennis, and we are proud to welcome them all into Team USA and hope to learn from them as much as they learn from us during these sessions.”

“To properly grow the game of tennis in this nation, it is essential that we reach out to all communities, especially those that continue to grow in size and impact within this country, such as the Hispanic-American demographic,” said Abrams. “At the USTA, we continually look for better ways to engage all constituents, and this symposium is an example of how we are doing just that.