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Oldest Black Sports Org Plans Convention


ATLANTA -- The American Tennis Association (ATA), the oldest African American sports organization in the United States, will be hosting their 94th Annual National Championships & Convention July 31, 2011 - August 6, 2011 in Atlanta, GA.

On Friday, February 18, 2011, at 9:00AM, the ATA is coordinating a press conference, announcing its return to the Peach City, at Archer Hall on the campus of Morehouse College. During that time the ATA will announce the site selection for the tournament, the host hotels and the economic impact the 94th Annual National Championships & Convention will bring to the City of Atlanta. Additionally, the ATA will introduce its strategic plans to enhance the sport of tennis by partnering with the United States Tennis Association's (USTA) Tennis On Campus Program, to grow the game of tennis on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's). The ATA will also unveil its new website which will highlight the significance African Americans have made in the sport including tennis greats, Tally Holmes, Althea Gibson, and Arthur Ashe to name a few.

"I am extremely honored and humbled to be President of the oldest African American sports organization in the United States," stated Dr. Franklyn Scott, President, ATA. "I look forward to continuing the legacy set by our founders and developing the appropriate partnerships and collaborations to make the ATA the most relevant sports organization in America."

Two of Atlanta's premier tennis facilities will host the ATA during their 94th Annual Championships. The Bitsy Grant Tennis Center will host the Adult Tournament and the Sharon Lester Tennis Center in Piedmont Park will host the Junior Tournament of the 2011 ATA Nationals. "Universal Tennis Management and the City of Atlanta are proud to welcome the 2011 ATA Nationals to two of Atlanta's most historic and beautiful sites, "states Tim Noonan, President and CEO.

The ATA, founded in 1916 by a group of African American businessmen, college professors and physicians, sought to create an organization that would bring African American tennis enthusiasts and players into close and friendly relations; improve the standards of existing tennis clubs; and promote the standard of the game among players just to name a few.

Robert Davis, Executive Director of the Black Tennis Hall of Fame states, "The history of Blacks in tennis is a rich and inspiring legacy that must be preserved. It chronicles the emergence of an elite black middle class a mere 40 years after slavery was abolished. This middle class spawned an organization (the American Tennis Association) in 1916 and in less than 50 years, produced 2 world champions in a sport previously unavailable to Blacks. This is one of the most remarkable feats in human history and should be illuminated as a beacon for all people to emulate."

During the weeklong National Championships, the ATA will host several events that focus on Health & Wellness, a HBCU College Fair, Life Member Reception, ATA/Atlanta Urban Family Barbecue and an Awards Banquet announcing the 2011 Black Tennis Hall of Fame Inductees.

The ATA has also scheduled other related activities such as Tennis under the Stars that residents of the City of Atlanta can participate in and learn about the wonderful world of tennis from an African American perspective.

The USTA has recognized the importance of the ATA and has partnered with the organization to ensure that they provide their support for 94th Annual ATA National Championships. "The world of tennis in America and across the planet is growing more and more diverse. It is critical that the USTA partner closely with the ATA and the Black Tennis Hall of Fame in making sure that people know the history of Blacks in tennis, but also that all people are welcome to play what I think is the best sport in the world," says Dale Caldwell, USTA At-large Board member; Chairman of the Strategic and Creative planning Committee; and Board Liaison to the ATA. 


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