MADISON — Rockingham County Tennis Association recently announced that Rockingham County Schools will receive the 2019 USTA Southern Member Organization of the Year Award.

The award is presented to a member organization to recognize its outstanding service to the community, organization members, and the game of tennis. RCS was recognized during the USTA Southern Annual Meeting at the Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center on Jan. 18.

Selected winners were nominated as candidates by USTA staff and volunteers in the section’s nine states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and

Tennessee. The winners were then chosen from among the nominees by volunteer members of the USTA Southern Awards Committee and numerous other committees. Here are schools tennis highlights from Rockingham County:

• Seven RCS elementary schools, as well as, Holmes Middle School, and McMichael High School are registered providers that receive free or low-cost youth tennis equipment and SHAPE-approved tennis curriculum for their PE or School Age Childcare (SACC) programs.

• Using a free USTA Schools line grant, eight elementary schools and Holmes Middle School have painted lines on their playgrounds for 39 youth-sized tennis courts. Each fall and spring RCS PE teachers and SACC partner with RCTA to offer after school Kids Tennis Clubs right outside the classroom door. Morehead High School PE teacher and Football Coach Lin Stadler sponsors a 10- day high school PE tennis class on the courts each spring.

• During the school year, RCTA community coaches and volunteers pop up the nets on campus for Family Fit Nights, PE tennis demo days, and lead fun tennis activities for school festivals, PTO meetings, and field days.

• RCS High Schools offer NCHSA boys and girls tennis team programs and RCS middle schools field girls tennis teams each fall as part of a five-school athletic conference that includes Dillard Middle School in Caswell County. Reidsville High School hosts Division II Mid-State Conference tournament play at Jaycee Park. All-County RCS Team tournaments for both boys and girls bring together players from all four high school teams to determine a county champion each year.

• Each summer, 15 middle and high school RCS students, most tennis players, share their passion for connecting tennis and education with over 300 young summer campers at six summer day camps as part of a National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network.

• RCS owns one tennis facility at Morehead High School and partners with Reidsville Parks & Recreation Department and Rockingham Community College to share their courts in Reidsville and Wentworth for team practice and match play. A new tennis facility at Western Rockingham Middle School in Madison is on the drawing board to serve the schools and tennis community in the western part of the county.

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