• GACTA Middle School Tennis League Completes its Sixth Season

    This spring, the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association (GACTA) sponsored the sixth season of its no-cut GACTA Middle School Tennis league, which provided almost 150 local middle school students, from beginner to advanced players, an opportunity to play tennis in a team format for their school. As in previous years, the season ran during the months of April and May following the high school tennis season. Volunteer parent-captains recruited middle school students from nine middle schools under the guidance of Anne Koterba, President of GACTA and coordinator of the middle school tennis program. This year, for the first time a group of players from Sidney Lanier Center, a school for students with developmental disabilities, joined the Westwood Middle School team. The other local schools included Lincoln, Jordan Glen, Oak Hall School, Kanapaha, Howard Bishop, and newcomers PK Yonge, Queen of Peace, and Oakview.

    DSC_0107This year, the Middle School League Team Championship, mirroring the FHSAA State Tennis Championship’s changed to a team vs. team format (but with an emphasis on doubles), was held at the Jonesville Tennis Center. This year, Lincoln Middle School won the 2016 Middle School Championship for the first time, upsetting Jordan Glen School, which had reigned as Tournament Champion for the past four years.

    DSC_0111Jordan Glen ended up the Tournament Finalist, with Oak Hall School coming in third place. The number #1 doubles team of Ethan Cockey and Kejin “Jackson” Dong was also recognized.

    GACTA’s no-cut middle school tennis program is sustainable because the hard costs are covered by a modest participation fee ($55), and because our local private and public tennis facilities generously provide teaching pros for practices and courts for both practices and matches. In addition, the parent-coordinators provide a great deal of volunteer help. The participation fee also generates enough revenue to provide scholarships for students from low-income families, as well as support GACTA’s Aces in Motion tennis outreach program for at-risk youth. This year, for the first time, Elizabeth Patterson, the parent-coordinator for Westwood Middle School and Taylor Byle, both whom had coached a Special Olympics tennis group, provided a unified playing experience for several of those players. They attended practices and competed in matches, as a part of Westwood’s team.

     “Teamwork and sportsmanship is what this program is really about,” Koterba said. “We just want kids of all backgrounds and all abilities to be able to go out and play and learn how enjoyable the game can be. We like to emphasize that tennis can be a great team sport, whether playing for your school’s team or playing as a doubles team.”

    This year, the Jonesville Tennis Center (JTC), Westside Tennis, Oak Hall School, and the Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club provided courts for match play for the middle school league, and all of these facilities, as well as the 300 Club, “adopted” teams for practices. The new champions, Lincoln Middle School, was coached by Alexis King and Abdoulaye Toure, and the parent coordinator was Kim Beck.

    DSC_0121

    For more information on GACTA’s programs, pleasego to Gainesville Tennis or Aces in Motion on Facebook.

     

  • The Amazing Give and GACTA

     

    GACTA is one of the non-profits participating in the Amazing Give, which is a 24 hour long online fundraising effort, hosted by the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, that offers a selected group of non-profits the opportunity to raise funds to support their organizations.

    We are hoping to win at least one of the $1,000 incentive prizes available. In particular, a $1000 prize will be awarded to the participating non-profit with the highest number of unique donors during the Amazing Give Kick Off Power Hour. So if possible, please make your donation between 6:00 pm and 6:59 pm TODAY (Monday) at https://theamazinggive.razoo.com/us/story/Gainesville-Area Community-Tennis-Association. Any amount would be most appreciated. Your donation will support programming for our under-served youth living in low-income neighborhoods and our adaptive tennis program for people with special needs through our Aces In Motion program.

    Even if you cannot donate at that time, please consider donating during the 24 hour period of the Amazing Give campaign (May 2nd, 6:00 pm through May 3rd, 5:59 pm) and help us qualify for other prizes and matching dollars. $2500 in matching dollars is available for donations made to GACTA. Let’s come together as a community and show that we care about our under-served youth and their futures.Thank you!

  • GACTA Annual Meeting and Volunteer Appreciation Party

    Come out to celebrate our volunteers for GACTA’s Volunteer Appreciation Party on Sunday, December 13th, at the 300 Club from 3:30 – 6:30 pm! There will be a round robin, tennis clinic, drinks and pizza from Humble Pie. Tickets are $20!

    E-mail Addison Staples (addison@ acesinmotion.org) with your name and level to reserve your spot. We are capping this event at 50 players so make sure to e-mail Addison soon! Looking forward to celebrating our invaluable volunteers with you all.

  • The Second Annual Bryan Shelton Celebration of Tennis

    A fundraiser to benefit GACTA’s Aces in Motion Tennis Outreach Program. 

    PURCHASE TICKETS

    Evening Celebration

    Friday August 21st, 2015

    Gainesville Woman’s Club

    6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

    Live music by Gosia and Ali

    Food by Southern Charm Kitchen

    Silent Auction and Raffle

    Let’s Make a Racket!

    Saturday August 22nd, 2015

    DB Racquet Club

    9 a.m.- noon (check in 8:30 a.m.)

    Community Tennis Clinic

    Refreshments by Bagel Bakery and Mojo Hogtown Barb-b-que

    Buy Tickets

    Evening Celebration: $50

    Saturday Tennis $30

    Both Events: $75

    Saturday Spectator: $10

    CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

    For more information, please contact Addison Staples, Executive Director GACTA, at Addison@nullacesinmotion.org or call 352-514-9975

  • GACTA Middle School Tennis League Completes its Fifth Season

    By Anne Koterba

    This spring, the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association (GACTA) sponsored the fifth season of its no-cut GACTA Middle School Tennis league, which provided 100 local middle school students, from beginner to advanced players, an opportunity to play tennis in a team format for their middle school. The season ran during the months of April and May following the high school tennis season. Volunteer parent-captains recruited middle school students from seven middle schools under the guidance of Anne Koterba, President of GACTA and coordinator of the middle school tennis program. Both public and private middle schools participated in the program. Local schools included: Jordan Glen, Oak Hall School, Westwood, Kanapaha, Lincoln, Fort Clarke, and Howard Bishop Middle Schools.

    As in the previous seasons, a two-day Middle School League Team Championship, with a similar format to the FHSAA District Tennis Championship format, with an emphasis on doubles, was held at the Jonesville Tennis Center. Jordan Glen School “four-peated” as Tournament Champion (22 points), and the Oak Hall School “four-peated” as Tournament Finalist (11 points). Lincoln Middle School finished a close third behind Oak Hall. When asked about the continuing dominance of the small, private, Jordan Glen School, Dave Porter, Director of Tennis at Jonesville Tennis Center and Jordan Glen parent, commented, “Jordan Glen has a well rounded curriculum with rigorous academics, and a strong focus on the arts and athletics. Students grow up playing multiple sports, developing their overall athleticism and confidence. The family-like atmosphere also fosters bonds among the kids on and off the court, which strengthens their teamwork.”

    The GACTA middle school tennis program is sustainable because the hard costs are covered by a modest participation fee ($55), local private and public tennis facilities generously provide teaching pros for practices and courts for matches, and parents provide a great deal of volunteer help. The participation fee also generates enough revenue to provide scholarships for students from low-income families, as well as support GACTA’s Aces in Motion tennis outreach program for at-risk youth.

    The no-cut feature of the program allows even true beginners, who may never have played tennis before, to experience match play, as GACTA volunteers go on court to help them with scoring and rules.

    “We really want the kids to have fun playing for their school, no matter what their level of experience”, said Addison Staples, Executive Director of GACTA. “That’s what this program is really about,” Koterba said. “We just want kids of all backgrounds realize how enjoyable the game of tennis can be, so they will want to go out and play. Although tennis can be an individual sport, we like to emphasize that it can be a great team sport as well, whether playing for your school’s team or playing as a doubles team.”

    This year, the Jonesville Tennis Center (JTC), Westside Tennis, Oak Hall School, and the Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club provided courts for match play for the middle school league, and all of these facilities, as well as the 300 Club, “adopted” teams for practices.

    For more information on GACTA’s programs, please see www.gainesvilletennis.org or go to Gainesville Tennis or Aces in Motion on Facebook.

    Fifth Season GACTA Middle School League

    Tournament Results

    Finals Main Draw:

    Flight 1: Colby Stewart/Leo Asch (JG) def Ethan Cockey/Eric Chen (LIN)                                       6-3

    Flight 2: Christian Mazpule/Nolan Louis (JG) def Stephanie Miller/Alden Laborde(OH)            6-2

    Flight 3: Dagney Kaye/Jadon Kennard (JG) def Mac LaBorde/Kate Pickens (OH)                        6-3

    Flight 4: James Donnelly/Isaac Kaye (JG) def Anna Liu/Mallory Tutton (LIN)                             6-1

    Flight 5: Liz Arnold/Sidney Washburn (JG) def Adel Acs/Katie Kerensky(OH)                             6-3

    Flight 6: Lincoln Weaver/Graham Shoemaker (JG) def Sydney Miller/Sophie Miller (OH)        6-0

    Flight 7: Graham Louis/Lotus Campbell (JG) def Graham Bernstein/Avery Bernstein (OH)      6-3

    Flight 8: Jaden Rosillo/Morgan Tooke (JG) def Davis Beck/Tahsin               Nabi                           6-0

    GACTA middle school tennis champs

    GACTA Middle School Tennis Tournament Champions

     

    GACTA middle school tennis finalists

    Oak Hall GACTA Middle School Tennis Tournament Finalists

    middle school tennis flight 1 winners

    Flight 1 Champions: Jordan Glen’s Colby and Leo

    middle school tennis flight 1 finalists

    Flight 1 Finalists: Lincoln’s Ethan and Eric

     

  • “Hit Away the Nukes” Community Tennis Event!

    Logo+peace+signThe Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association, River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding and Eli Meyer Studio would like to invite you to attend a community event, “Hit Away the Nukes” on Saturday April 18th, from noon-3 pm at Westside Park.

    We will be meeting at the Westside tennis courts to hit a total of 16,000 tennis balls, each ball symbolizing one of the 16,000 nuclear weapons still in existence in the world today. Tennis experience is NOT necessary, and all ages are welcome!

    We join with Global Wave 2015, a world-wide series of events calling upon governments meeting in New York this April and May to cooperate on a process to abolish and eliminate nuclear weapons. Links to descriptions of our event can be seen at http://www.globalwave2015.org/news-2/2015/4/8/hit-away-the-nukes and http://www.april6.org/en/take-part/upcoming-events/hit-away-the-nukes.html

    A video will be made of this local event, and it will be shared on a global platform, so come be a part of the action to “Hit Away the Nukes”.

    We hope that you can stop by and hit a few balls! We plan to take a group photo around 1 pm.

    For more information, contact Addison Staples, Executive Director, GACTA, at addison@nullacesinmotion.org or text 352-514-9975.

    Please note: This is a local event to bring global awareness and not a fundraiser.

    Logo+with+words

  • 2015 GACTA Middle School Tennis

    The fifth season of GACTA’s popular Middle School Tennis program starts soon! Team practices will begin around the first of April, with matches likely starting on April 17th. The program is no-cut, open to all levels, and emphasizes fun and sportsmanship. Schools likely participating include:

    Kanapaha

    Lincoln

    Westwood

    Howard Bishop

    Fort Clarke

    Jordan Glen

    Oak Hall

    For more information, see the Middle School Tennis section on this website or contact Anne Koterba, Middle School Tennis Coordinator, at akoterba@nullaol.com or 352-665-9544.

  • 2014 GACTA Activity Round Up

    GACTA Accomplishments and Activities 2014

    Overview

    • GACTA appoints its first paid staff member, Addison Staples, as part-time Executive Director, effective 1/1/2014.
    • GACTA website overhauled (Gainesvilletennis.org) and Aces in Motion website (acesinmotion.org)
    • created
    • Gainesville Community Tennis calendar developed
    • GACTA and Aces in Motion Facebook presence established and maintained
    • GACTA sponsors its fourth season of Middle School Tennis
    • April 2014: Addison Staples attended the Change the Game conference in NYC
    • April 2014: GACTA became a member of Up2Us.
    • May 2014: GOWTL (day league) luncheon raffle raises $725 for GACTA.
    • June, 2014: GACTA awarded a USTA Serves Grant ($10,000) to expand the Aces in Motion Tennis Outreach program in east Gainesville
    • June, 2014: First Constant Contact newsletter sent out to approximately 1100 individuals
    • August, 2014: GACTA holds its first annual fundraiser, The Bryan Shelton Celebration of Gainesville Tennis, Past and Present. This event raised over $25,000 for GACTA.
    • Established the Dr. John J. Ross Pre-Collegiate Scholarship Fund and the McDonald Scholarship
    • September 2014: GACTA was accepted into the USTA Foundation NJTL Capacity Building program
    • October 2014: Addison Staples and Anne Koterba attend the Pre-TDW NJTL Capacity Building program in Atlanta
    • November 2014: USTA Florida Section Foundation grant award ($7078) for expansion of the Aces in Motion program in new 21st CCLC elementary schools and to establish a Special Olympics tennis program, based at Sidney Lanier Center.
    • December 2014: Awarded USTA Foundation grant support of $12,500 to expand AIM programming at Boulware Springs Charter, Pineridge neighborhood and at T.B. McPherson. In addition, GACTA was awarded a $25,000 USTA Foundation NJTL grant to increase the capacity of our organization (expand Executive Director position to full-time and hire a program director.

    Activities by Month

    January

    • Ball machine donated to GACTA for tennis programming at T.B. McPherson
    • Aces in Motion partners with EAGY after-school program at T.B. McPherson
    • Sidney Lanier outreach program begins
    • City of Gainesville installs new benches at T.B. McPherson tennis courts
    • Jan 22nd: 21stCCLC elementary school student field trip to UF Men’s Tennis match vs. UNF
    • Jan 29th: UF Men’s Tennis Team visits HBMS 21st CCLC tennis program
    • 21st CCLC tennis program continues at HBMS and Lincoln Middle Schools.
    • 21st CCLC tennis program continues at Idylwild, Lake Forest, Rawlings elementary schools

    February

    • Feb 8th: First USTA Florida Community Tennis Workshop held in Gainesville
    • Reichert House and EAGY after school programs continue at TB McPherson
    • Feb 22nd : First TB McPherson Play Day held

    March

    • March 1st: GACTA was a vendor at the Parent Appreciation Day/Gang Awareness at Rawlings Elementary
    • Aces in Motion booth at the JTC Pro Circuit Women’s Futures tournament
    • March 10th: UF Mens Tennis team volunteered at TB McPherson
    • March 15-16: USTA Florida Team Tennis Challenge @ Jonesville Tennis Center
    • March 27th : Village Green Spring Break Play Day
    • HBMS tennis team forms and Middle School Tennis team practices begin
    • March 30th: UF Women’s Tennis Community Play Day at UF

    April

    • Fourth season of GACTA sponsored Middle School Tennis matches begins
    • Water fountain installed at T.B. McPherson
    • After school programming continues at various elementary schools and T.B. McPherson.
    • April 22nd: First Kids Count tennis clinic held in church parking lot at Rawlings site.
    • April 30th: First Kids Count tennis clinic held at TB McPherson tennis courts

    May

    • May 7th: First tennis clinic held at NE 31st Ave courts, with Kids Count
    • May 7th: Addison Staples presented AIM program at City of Gainesville Public Safety Committee meeting
    • May 13th: Tennis clinic with Woodland Park Boys and Girls Club at T.B. McPherson
    • May 20th: Racquet Award Day to Reichert House tennis program participants
    • May 29-June 1st: GACTA Middle School Tennis Tournament

    June

    • June 7th: AIM Field Trip to St. Augustine with Addison Staples
    • Summer Heat Wave tennis program begins at MLK Center
    • Tennis program at HBMS continues, led by Bessie Patterson and Chris McDonald
    • 21st CCLC 8 summer tennis program at Terwilliger, Idylwild, Lake Forest, and Rawlings elementary schools (reached over 250 students per week for 6-7 weeks)
    • June 29th: GACTA-sponsored Summer Play Days begin at Westside Park, organized by Chris McDonald
    • Meetings ongoing with River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding

    July

    • GACTA representatives began attending Pineridge neighborhood community meetings
    • Meetings ongoing with River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding
    • July 11th: Guatemala trip, led by Addison Staples, begins
    • Tennis courts resurfaced at T.B. McPherson and blended lines added to all four courts
    • Summer Heatwave program continues

    August

    • August 5th : Village Green Community Day with GPD (vendor)
    • Partnership begins to provide tennis instruction to all students at Boulware Charter School as part of the PE program.
    • Expanded partnership with Reichert House, to provide tennis instruction to both elementary and middle school students at T.B. McPherson
    • Partnering with Youth Combine to provide once a week tennis instruction at HBMS.
    • August 23rd: First Annual GACTA fundraiser held, with successful, sold out Community Tennis Clinic @ DB

    September

    • Formed second east Gainesville 14 & Under Intermediate Team Tennis team for fall play, T.B. McPherson courts are the team’s home court
    • Working with ACT/SAT tutor and PhD student, Sanethia Thomas, to provide tutoring at T.B. McPherson
    • Met with new superintendent Owen Roberts to discuss Aces in Motion program

    October

    • October 1st: Addison Staples attended the Education Form hosted by Plum Creek, entitled, “Preparing Our Youth for Future Opportunities: Our Shared Responsibility
    • October 10th: First Pineridge Aces in Motion Tennis Festival held

    November

    • 5th: USTA Foundation Capacity Building Convening. Addison Staples and Anne Koterba represented GACTA
    • 8th: Addison Staples represented Aces in Motion at the 4WS Network Health Expo at Pineridge
    • Nov 22nd: USTA Florida Annual Meeting. One of the original Aces in Motion participants, Keonna Perry, provided a testimonial at the Awards Dinner, explaining what tennis means to her.

    December

    • December 7th: GACTA 10th Year Anniversary Party and Annual Meeting at the Gainesville Country Club.
    • December 12th: GACTA received word that we received $12,500 in grant support from USTA Foundation to expand programming at Boulware Springs Charter, Pineridge neighborhood, and T.B. McPherson after-school program, and $25,000 in grant support from the USTA Foundation NJTL Capacity Building program.
  • GACTA 10th Anniversary Party and Annual Meeting at Gainesville Country Club

    Thanks to Patrick Jenkins, Jacob Birk, and the Gainesville Country Club for hosting the community tennis party! And a big thank you to the area tennis pros, Mike Oransky, Robert Taylor, Jean Vaughn, Sandra Philips, Chris McDonald, and Jason Weiss for making the tennis clinic such a success!

    GCC_GACTA_103aDuring the GACTA annual meeting, the following officers were elected for 2015:

    Anne Koterba-President

    Libby Smith-Vice President

    Ben Smith-Secretary

    Dean Poole-Treasurer

    Board members: Jade Park, Elizabeth Patterson, Lee Johnson, Linda Green and Christine Shurtleff

    Executive Director: Addison Staples

    For more photos of the Community Tennis Clinic, click here.

    And to all our volunteers who have made our Middle School Tennis and Aces in Motion programs a reality, thank you!

    2014 GACTA Volunteer Recognition

    Adults:

    • Elizabeth Patterson
    • Maurice Willacy
    • Jean Vaughn
    • Mark Staples
    • Nancy Staples
    • Bob Gwin
    • Don Blair
    • Marda Jorgensen
    • Kim Horner
    • Kevin Banes
    • Rod Nagoshi
    • Diana Caro
    • Bonnie O’Brien
    • Bobbie Mehan

    Juniors:

    • Ben Nagoshi
    • Sam Cockey
    • Ryan Joo
    • Daniel Vaughn
    • Aminah Moffett
    • Walia Moffett
    • Marcela Ifju
    • Daniela Ifju
    • Austin Edwards
    • Davis Washburn
    • Lillie Mehan

    Middle School Tennis Parent Coordinators 2014:

    • Scott Frey and Betsy Fischer
    • Tammy Miller
    • John Tucker
    • Kim Heninger
    • Clare Uman and Kikumi Gugel
    • Albert Sloan and John Lear
    • Elizabeth Patterson

    Coaches/Facilities that Adopted Middle School Teams:

    • Abdoulaye Toure (300 Club): Lincoln
    • Dave Porter: Oak Hall
    • Mike Oransky (Westside): Westwood
    • Chris McDonald: Howard Bishop
    • Robert Taylor (Haile): Kanapaha

    Tennis Teaching Pros Participating in the Community Tennis Clinic in August

    • Don Blair
    • Robert Taylor
    • Addison Staples
    • Jason Weiss
    • Chris McDonald
    • Jeremy Beach
    • Eli Meyer
    • Jeremy Bayon
    • Mark Merklein
    • Paul Reese
    • Dave Balogh
    • Patrick Jenkins
    • Roland Thornquist
    • Maurice Willacy
    • Eric Ligman
    • Tracey Begley
    • Bryan Shelton
    • Mike Oransky
  • GACTA Hosts Successful Fundraiser for Aces in Motion Program

    On Saturday, August 23rd, a morning community tennis event at DB Racquet Club and an Evening Celebration of Tennis were held to support the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association’s Aces in Motion Tennis Outreach Program for at-risk children. The fundraiser, the The Bryan Shelton Celebration of Gainesville Tennis, Past and Present, was very well received by the Gainesville tennis community. The morning and evening events both sold out, and approximately 200 people attended.

    In a first for Gainesville, Don Blair of DB Racquet Club recruited tennis teaching pros from almost all the tennis clubs in town (including Fort King Tennis Center in Ocala) to come together and teach in the community tennis clinic. The UF Men and Women’s Tennis coaches also participated in the clinic, jumping on court along with tennis players from the community. Thanks to all the teaching pros who gave up their Saturday mornings to provide the “best Gainesville community tennis clinic ever”!

    Following the clinic, an exhibition was held, featuring Roland Thornquist, the UF women’s head coach and Bryan Shelton, the UF men’s head coach, who joined forces to compete against a former UF player, Chris McDonald and Tracey Smith Begley, a former FSU player.  Players from the community were then randomly selected to join in friendly tiebreakers with Bryan and Roland. To end the morning session, Bryan Shelton shared his thoughts with the crowd on the importance of the Aces in Motion program.

    The evening event featured Bryan Shelton, program directors Addison Staples and Chris McDonald, and participants in the organization’s Aces in Motion program, as well as live music and a silent auction. Attendees could also walk through a display of the highlights of Gainesville’s illustrious tennis history. As a part of the event, the Dr. John Ross Pre-Collegiate Scholarship was established, to honor the memory of Dr. Ross, a long-time Gainesville resident, beloved pediatric neurologist, and tennis advocate and enthusiast.