USTA Florida partnered with Universal Tennis and the University of North Florida (UNF) to host an all-girls tennis camp on June 18. The one-day event took place at UNF with volunteers, coaches, and players showing up to support the lady tennis players.
Over 30 girls were in attendance for a day full of activities both on and off the court. Athletes in attendance had a chance to talk with the USTA Florida staff members, other prominent women in the tennis industry, like UNF Women’s tennis coach Catherine Dunagan, and players on the UNF team.
The goal of this camp was to bring girls together and allow them to see women role models in the tennis industry, whether that be in the college coaches, USTA FL Board President, Dana Andrews, or the other panelists who shared their experience in the sport.
Andrews delivered a strong message to the girls, informing them that there is so much more to learn from tennis than just playing it. She used her daughter as an example and quoted her on what tennis taught her. “I know hard work, and it started really through tennis in my juniors [youth] and college [years].”
Another tennis industry professional in attendance was USTA Florida Tennis Service Representative, Molly Zimmer, who said it was amazing to see the girls interact with one another both on and off the court. “The event offered the right mix of peer-to-peer play opportunities, mentorship with the UNF girls’ team,” Zimmer said. “Empowering the attendees with knowledge and providing an environment where the girls felt comfortable to ask questions, share their story, and experience their challenges.”
For many of the girls attending the camp, this may have been their first experience having a woman coach. The camp featured an all-female coaching staff who guided the campers through drills and matchplay.
When things were wrapped up, Zimmer said, “I am extremely proud and humbled to be a part of team that identifies opportunities to support youth female athletes of all skill levels in our community.”
This camp was more than just playing the game, it gave girls the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be surrounded by support, love, and most importantly other girls that share the same goals as them.