Upper St. Clair Tourney a Hit

On Saturday, Nickelodeon will encourage kids to turn off their TVs and participate in healthy activities like tennis. A group of 39 kids got a head start last weekend in Pittsburgh.

usc 10u tournament
Marcy Bruce, PTR Teaching Pro, works with youth players at the Upper St. Clair 10 and Under Tennis Classic.

Marcy Bruce, a teaching pro from Pittsburgh, organized the Upper St. Clair 10 and Under Classic, which took place on Saturday. Players and their families traveled from various parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio to participate in the tournament and get a feel for a day of competition.

“It was a good day,” Bruce said. “The kids had fun.”

Bruce, Professional Tennis Registry’s (PTR) Pro of the Year in 2009, has now run three 10 and Under tournaments over the last year. The first, which took place last summer, attracted 20 kids. That number nearly doubled over the course of this year, and with the rise of 10 and Under Tennis, Bruce expects the trend to continue.

Using the same logic as many other youth sports like baseball and soccer, 10 and Under Tennis introduces tennis to kids with properly-sized courts and equipment, making it easier for children to be successful. Introducing the kids to tournaments is just one more way to get them in the game.

In Bruce’s mind, 10 and Under Tennis just makes sense.

“The kids are playing and learning, not just pushing the ball back like they would be on a full court,” she said. “As they get older, they become more tactical and dictate where they want to put the ball. They can see the court and actually play the game.”

Bruce, who has three children, said she thinks more kids are now playing tennis, and looking for various ways to get involved.

“I wish I had it as a kid,” she said. “My daughter is now coming through with 10 and Under. She loves it.”

September features a number of tennis events – many of them free – revolving around Nickelodeon’s Worldwide Day of Play. That day, Nickelodeon takes its TV channels and Web sites off the air and asks that kids participate in healthy activities.

For more info on 10 and Under Tennis and to find a place to play, click here. For info on the Upper Saint Clair Tennis Development Program, click here.

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