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Permanent Home For ATA On The Horizon

When an organization has been in existence for "100 Years," it is considered a historic institution.  In 2016, "100th Anniversary" of the American Tennis Association (ATA) will be celebrated.

The ATA proudly takes its place amongst other African-American organizations who have been in existence for a century including the National Urban League, the NAACP, the Alpha Kappa Alpha's (AKA's), the Kappa's and, the Delta's, just to name a few.

While the ATA has had a rich and colorful history, it is the strategic plans for the next "100 Years" for Black Tennis in America that is the organization's current focal point. This vision includes the development of a Permanent Home & Tennis Training Facility, a Black Tennis Hall of Fame, a Black-owned hotel and a location to house the offices of the ATA and the American Tennis & Education Foundation (ATEF).

The ATEF, which is a 501(c)3 organization, and was formed more than two years ago, will be the primary entity that will be responsible for the fundraising campaign to build the facility and to manage the day-to-day operations of the facility. In addition to a variety of Corporate Partners, Members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board include: 

·      Ms. Lori McNeil - Former professional tennis pro and USTA National Coach

·      Mr. John Wilkerson - Master Coach and Director of the Zina Garrison Tennis Academy. Houston

·      Dr. Franklyn Scott - ATA President and Member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity

·      Dr. Gary Sailes - Sports Psychologist, Indiana University

·      Mr. Larry Strickland - Head Tennis Coach @ Howard University

·      Ms. Sheila Townsend - Tennis Enthusiast and mother of professional player

·      Mr. John Desdunes - USTA Player Development

·      Mr. Ron Perry - Head Tennis Pro, Vero Beach

·      Mr. Sydney Cooper - Head Tennis Coach

·      Ms. Jeri Ingram - Former professional tennis player, Washington, D.C. Parks & Recreation

·      Mr. Melvin Roane - Roane Consulting Group

·      Mr. Albert Tucker - Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

"The preliminary cost to make this development happen is projected at $32 million," explains Albert Tucker, ATA Board Member and vice president of Multicultural Business Development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. "I am honored and humbled to be in a position to help the ATA, the ATEF, the HBCU's and many of our players of color to see this project come to fruition.   It has been a long time coming.

"At this time," adds Tucker, "we are anticipating having the groundbreaking during the ATA National Championships in August, 2016.  What a perfect way to celebrate the '100th Anniversary' of the ATA and Blacks in tennis.  We hope that you all will consider joining us and being a part of history!"

According to Tucker, the primary purpose of the facility will be a year round training center for young players of color from the US and the Caribbean. Additionally it will serve a cultural hub where coaches from across the country can come and feel at home. The facility will also be an attraction where individuals can come to South Florida and take a well-planned tennis vacation.

"I want us encourage as many individuals as possible to join us in August for the centennial celebration of the American Tennis Association and the groundbreaking for the facility," continues Tucker.  "The ATA, in partnership with Black Tennis Magazine, USTA Player Development and our many sororities and fraternities and will be hosting a week long celebration honoring the founding of the organization and those individuals that had an impact on the sport.

A full schedule of events will be available in mid-March with a preliminary schedule to include Opening Ceremonies on Sunday, July 31st and the ATA Honors and Black Tennis Hall of Fame on Thursday, August 4th. 

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