(March 26, 2014) New Balance announced in early March the creation of the inaugural New Balance High School Tennis Championship presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), an event that will offer young tennis players a new level of competition on the national stage. The tournament will be held at the Beren Tennis Center at Harvard University in Boston, July 21-25, 2014.
“We think if you play high school tennis, you’re a tennis player for life,” Bruce Schilling, General Manager of Tennis for New Balance told Tennis Panorama News.
“We want to acknowledge and pay attention to those athletes that don’t get the attention as other sports do.”
“We are also excited to build relationships with the high school state athletic associations through this new and exciting event and work with them to develop ongoing programs and services for individual players and coaches.”
New Balance developed the event with the goal of supporting and recognizing all high school tennis players and coaches and the dedication they bring to the sport. New Balance sought the USTA’s support for this event because of the strong alignment of both organizations’ goals to promote and develop the sport of tennis, as well as the USTA’s experience managing tennis events.
Boys’ and girls’ singles events will have a 64-player compass draw format, giving players the opportunity to play many matches. Winners of the New Balance High School Tennis Championship will be awarded wildcard spots in an International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior event held in the U.S. prior to the 2014 US Open Junior Championships.
To grow participation among high school players and the event, New Balance is collaborating with the High School State Associations to conduct outreach and work with athletic directors, coaches, and players to acknowledge the importance of the high school game. Other event supporters include Harvard, SJX, and Home Team Sports.
“The real goal of this is to get down into the state level and offer opportunities for every high school player,” Schilling said.
Outside of publicity and the tournament web site, New Balance is reaching out to potential participants in other ways. “We have made arrangements with a number of state federations and those federations are those federations are reaching out to high school tennis associations by reaching directly to the coaches of the kids that win,” Schilling said.
“Harvard was one of the first programs we got involved with immediately, they are very close to our campus. It’s a spectacular venue at a prestigious institution and so there really couldn’t be a better partner.”
More than 355,000 boys and girls participate in high school tennis. At the collegiate level, approximately 20,000 varsity positions are available for top athletes, with intramural and club-level programs providing an additional 40,000 participants the opportunity to maintain their social and competitive connection to the sport throughout college.
For more information on the New Balance High School Tennis Championship: http://www.newbalance.com/NB-Tennis/exp-tennis-event,default,pg.html