WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., April 2, 2012 — The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has named The University of Maryland – College Park Club Tennis Team as its 2011-2012 Tennis On Campus Club of the Year. The award is presented annually to the college or university club tennis team that has achieved a level of sustained excellence, while also demonstrating a commitment to giving back to their local community. The honor brings with it an automatic bid to the 2012 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship, which will be contested April 12-14, in Cary, N.C.
Maryland features a traveling squad of 25 players and a recreational team of more than 200. These students also participate in a variety of activities reaching beyond the tennis court in Washington, D.C. to the streets of Maryland, and the schools of Ecuador. Club tennis team players eagerly embrace community involvement, serving the Habitat for Humanity 5K, Relay for Life and the Dreams for Kids Adaptive Tennis Clinic at the Legg Mason Tournament of Champions.
“It’s remarkable to see how many of these programs commit time and resources to improving their local communities,” said Glenn Arrington, National Manager, USTA Tennis On Campus. “The University of Maryland– College Park club tennis team serves as a great ambassador not just for tennis, but also for their campus. They have set an exceptional example of student leadership and they should be proud of their achievements.”
One of the most original events the Maryland team brought to the community was the Bilingual Backpacks Charity Midnight TennisTournament. Team captain Tiffany Lin and teammate Tim Ghazzawi launched the event to benefit the non-profit organization Bilingual Backpacks. Ghazzawi founded the organization after he and Lin taught at a primary school in Ecuadorin 2010. The event brought 45 doubles teams to an 8 p.m.-midnight tournament that featured food, refreshments and plenty of fun. The tournament raised $600 that Ghazzawi turned into books and supplies for the Ecuadorian school. In addition, the event serves as a means to generate more player interest in their club tennis team.
“Maryland Club Tennis and the Tennis On Campus program have been an integral part of my college life,” Lin said. “As a bioengineering major with aspirations of attending dental school, I decided early on that tennis would have to take a back seat. However, Maryland Club Tennis has proved otherwise. “Our club’s welcoming environment attracts beginner, intermediate and advanced players alike – all of which are welcome to attend all practices and dual matches. Though we are challenged with limited court space and resources, our club’s enthusiasm and competitive spirit, as well as excitement to bring tennis to the community, continues to impress me.”
In the 2011-2012Season Maryland Club Tennis placed second in both the Loyola Fall Invitational and the USTA Tennis On Campus Mid-Atlantic Championship and third in the USTA Battle of the Sections. Team member Linda Quach was voted the Mid-AtlanticPlayer of the Month and members of the team volunteered as ballpersons and ushers for D.C.-area pro events like the US Open Wildcard Event and the CitiOpen.
It was announced last year that the current 2012 season would be the last that Maryland will compete as a Division I men’s tennis program because of impending budget cuts, effective July 1.
“It is our hope at USTA that the positive attributes of the club team will help strengthenand expand the advocate base for tennis on Maryland’s campus and may verywell become a driving force toward helping reinstate their men’s varsity tennis team in the future,” Arrington said.
USTA Tennis On Campus will present the University of Maryland – College Park Club TennisTeam with their award on Saturday, April 14, during the awards ceremony at the 2012 USTA Tennis On Campus National Championship, featuring 64 co-ed teams representing colleges and universities throughout the nation.
The USTA Tennis On Campus program features more than 35,000 college students competing nationwide in intramural and intercollegiate coed club play using theWorld TeamTennis format. Since its inception in 2000, Tennis On Campus has grown significantly and today is played on more than 600 college campuses across the country. Developed by the USTA, the Tennis On Campus program gives college students the opportunity to build leadership skills, network in a coed sports environment and compete on a college team without the rigors of playing in a varsity program. With year-round match play, and regional and national championship competition, students maintain active and healthy lifestyles through their college years.
Visit the Tennis OnCampus website at www.tennisoncampus.com for complete results, stories and photos. The Tennis On Campus website also offers all college clubs fundraising resources, coaching tips, and marketing materials.