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The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) have joined forces to build an Advocacy Network for support of varsity collegiate tennis. This Network has been established as a response to varsity tennis programs being dropped on college campuses across the country (over 350 in the past two decades). The Network is comprised of tennis "advocates" who want to insure tennis programs continue to thrive on college campuses.

The Advocacy Network has already made a difference. The decision to NOT drop the varsity tennis programs made by institutional administrators at Western Michigan University in the fall of 2003, the University of Minnesota-Mankato State in the spring of 2004, Florida A&M University in the summer of 2005 and Irvine Valley College in the spring of 2007 demonstrate that the focused and coordinated efforts of many tennis advocates at the national, sectional and local levels can make an enormous difference. In 2008, ongoing efforts to reinstate the Rutgers men’s varsity tennis team (among six sports eliminated at Rutgers) are being made by advocates, as well.

"The College Tennis Advocacy Network is a good cause to support because it helps the growth and promotion of varsity college teams," said Nancy Breo, ITA Advocate Network Administrator. "In addition, we try to reconnect people to college tennis."

Breo added, "The goal of the "Power of One" campaign, which began in 2008, is to expand the College Tennis Advocacy Network, ideally doubling its membership, among people in the at-large community."

The ITA has a database of more than 1800 tennis "advocates", from the nationwide tennis community, who are supporters of college tennis. The ITA is asking each ITA coach member to show their support for college tennis by providing the name, city of residence and contact information (email address preferred) for at least ONE influential person within their community at-large who might be willing to be part of the College Tennis Advocacy Network.

The ITA will contact your referral(s) to invite them to become part of the College Tennis Advocacy Network. Members of the College Tennis Advocacy Network are not solicited and their contact information is kept confidential and will only be used for the purpose of college tennis advocacy.

Please complete the formand return it via Fax (206-339-5462) or Email (itanbreo@aol.com) or visit the ITA website at www.itatennis.com to complete the online Advocacy Network form (located under the "Outreach" tab on the top right-hand side of the home page). You may also contact Nancy Breo, Advocate Network Administrator, at 609-638-4952 for more information. 

Courtesy of USTA Middle States