JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to grow youth tennis, former ATP World Tour professional Todd Martin has acquired a TGA Premier Youth Tennis franchise. TGA, one of the nation's most successful youth sports companies, and Todd Martin Tennis, will develop school-based tennis programs for youngsters in the Jacksonville, FL area.
TGA Premier Youth Tennis is a new initiative to grow the sport of tennis in partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA). The organizations have developed the infrastructure and specialized curriculum to bring the sport to the masses in schools nationwide. It is the only national after-school tennis program in the country.
"TGA really appealed to me because in order for tennis to be a viable competitor in U.S. sports, it needs to be in the schools with other sports," Martin explains. "The comprehensive curriculum, developed with the USTA, is also very exciting and proven to be effective."
TGA began awarding franchises for its new tennis business in partnership with the USTA earlier this year. Together, they aim to grow youth tennis, support the 10 and Under Tennis initiative, and enrich young people's lives through physical activity, health and nutrition, education and character building.
"The innovative TGA model will grow the sport of tennis in the U.S. that is for sure. It also stands to help 10 and Under Tennis establish itself as the best pathway for children to get through the early stages of tennis development," Martin says.
The USTA is delighted that Todd Martin has teamed up with their national partner, TGA.
"TGA has an outstanding national reputation for delivering tennis and enrichment (or life skills) to young children. Todd is one of our sports greatest examples of a champion both on and off the court. The youth of Jacksonville are very fortunate to have this after-school opportunity available to them," said Scott Schultz, USTA's Managing Director, Youth Tennis.
Martin, 42, is a graduate of Northwestern University and two-time Grand Slam finalist on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour. He reached as high as No. 4 in the ATP's rankings in 1999 and won 13 career titles. He retired from the tour in 2004 and has continued to work in the sport. He has served as a coach to professionals Mardy Fish and Novak Djokovic, is a member of the USTA Board of Directors and operates Todd Martin Tennis (Jacksonville, FL) and founded the Todd Martin Development Fund (Lansing, MI) providing tennis and leadership programs to at-risk youth.
Joshua Jacobs, founder and CEO of TGA Premier Youth Tennis, appreciates the prestige that Martin brings to the program, "To have someone of Todd's stature and disposition within the tennis community recognize our unique school based model as a way to grow youth tennis is very gratifying for us," Jacobs says. "By acquiring a TGA franchise, Todd is developing a successful player pathway in Jacksonville that will ultimately lead students and their families to Todd Martin Tennis and other junior programs which will provide a strong opportunity to develop elite and avid tennis players."
For more information on TGA, visit www.playtga.com or follow @tgayouthtennis on Twitter.
SOURCE TGA Premier Youth Tennis