The Granite YMCA Named Community Tennis Association of the Year
Manchester, NH: In a recent press release, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) of New England named The Granite YMCA its ‘Community Tennis Association of the Year.’ In the USTA statement, it said, ”The Granite YMCA is the largest YMCA association in northern New England, with six New Hampshire facilities. Tennis takes place at the YMCA Allard Center in Goffstown, where programs are offered for adults and youth starting at age 4.
Two years ago, the tennis staff worked to establish a free community tennis program in Manchester to give underserved youth and families the opportunity to play weekly. During quarantine, the staff taught them how to practice tennis in their driveways and at home. The Y also donated and delivered tennis equipment to households throughout the community.
During the summer of 2020, when most camps and programs were closed, the Y hosted free tennis lessons outside in Manchester for all to learn the basics and play matches safely.
In the past year, USTA programs at the facility have gone up 43%.
The Y is the definition of a community organization that includes so many who dedicate their time to give back to the sport. The organization recruits adult and junior volunteers to help with tournament and league matches, court reservations, team travel and more.” 2022 Award Winners Announced (usta.com)
The Allard Center tennis program offered through The Granite YMCA includes everything from developmental level tennis to competitive and tournament play for youth and adults. “The program focuses on creating community through the sport of tennis,” explains Dave Brown, Tennis Director. “Being named USTA’s Community Tennis Association of the Year is a huge honor and confirms to us that our hard work is recognized as making a difference in the lives of the people we serve through tennis,” added Brown.
The goal of the YMCA’s tennis program is to get people onto the court and teach them a sport that builds new skills, encourages confidence, boosts physical health, fosters new friendships, teaches etiquette and is fun. There is even a level of competitive play and in the spring of 2022, an entry level tennis team at The YMCA Allard Center of Goffstown played their way into the USTA National Championship.
Allard Center to Serve as a USTA Premiere Pilot Facility
The Granite YMCA has also been selected as a USTA Premier Pilot Site. As a USTA Premier Pilot Site, The Granite YMCA, and Allard Center will receive a funding grant in the amount of $2,500. In addition to the grant funds, the program benefits include 4 tickets to next year's US Open, a Premier Facility banner, free registration to the United States Professional Tennis Registry (USPTA) and Professional Tennis Registry World Conferences to include many educational and networking opportunities with the other premier sites around the country.
“We are one of only 3 or 4 facilities in New England being selected for this pilot program and I could not be more proud of our tennis leadership for years of dedication to this sport and what it can do for the community, “explained Michele Sheppard, President & CEO, The Granite YMCA. “The invitation to participate as a Premiere Pilot Facility and to receive grant funding tells us that the US Tennis Association holds us in very high regard and respects the outcomes of our program for adult and youth tennis players alike,” Sheppard added.
The USTA describes the purpose of the grant as providing the facility with funding that can be utilized to actively engage new and returning players into the sport of tennis in a safe and meaningful way. This could include events, facility enhancements, professional certification, equipment, and other means which are driven to enhance the overall experience for tennis customers. This is the first year of the USTA Premiere Pilot Site Program.
About The Granite YMCA
As one of the state’s longest standing and most enduring non-profits, The Granite YMCA focuses on youth development, healthy living, social responsibility, and family strengthening. Across the state, its six branches engage 30,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to improve their health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In 2021, The Granite YMCA provided financial assistance and free services valued at just over $1.29 million to 10,868 individuals. To learn more, please visit www.graniteymca.org.