October 31, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
Youth Tennis Advantage, the Oakland-based non profit organization that embraces the vision of tennis great Arthur Ashe: that tennis combined with academic support can enhance and profoundly impact the lives of children living in poverty and underserved communities, is looking ahead to expanding and developing new strategies in tennis and educational opportunities for youth under the direction of executive director Loretta Conway appointed last August. Conway, comes to the YTA having worked for 15 years with the United States Tennis Association, where she created sustainable adult and junior programs. At the USTA Conway worked in a variety of roles ranging from youth volunteer to Community Tennis Director in regions within Florida and Northern California. She will concentrate on establishing more opportunities for children to learn and play tennis by working collaboratively with the City of Oakland’s Park and Recreation department.

“Connecting with the City of Oakland to ensure children have access to programs on Oakland’s public courts is a crucial step towards ensuring that kids of the lowest socioeconomic levels have ample opportunities to learn and play tennis,” Conway said. “The reward of seeing a child’s life enriched because of teamwork and dedication to a common vision is what I look forward to most in my new position.”

Conway’s teamwork approach to achieving goals has reaped funding for Oakland tennis programs for children in her first six months as director, thanks to her forming a YTA- City of Oakland collaboration to bring the Fila Touring Camp to Oakland’s Davie Tennis Stadium last month. Held for three-day engagement, the intensive tennis camp was taught by some of the world’s top tennis professionals. The Fila Touring camp enabled tennis enthusiasts in the Oakland-Bay Area to register to attend one of several tennis clinics designed to connect recreational players with tennis professionals, while also raising funds for various Oakland youth tennis programs. The success of this year’s camp sets the stage for annual Fila Touring Camps hosted by YTA and the City of Oakland in the future.

“Needless to say, the YTA is extremely pleased to have Loretta Conway accept our offer to become our executive director.” said Dr. Ron Grant, president of the YTA. “She has a wealth of tennis industry experience and commitment which will help the YTA reach greater numbers of kids so that they have access to free tennis programs; programs that incorporate life skills training and academic support.”
Founded in 1999, Youth Tennis Advantage (YTA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that honors Arthur Ashe’s vision of using tennis as a vehicle to profoundly enrich the lives of inner city kids who face various challenges and issues related to poverty. YTA came about as a result of a merger in 1999 between Youth Tennis Foundation and National Junior Tennis League of San Francisco. Both were founded on a nationally recognized youth development model over 25 years ago. YTA helps kids build character, self-esteem, discipline, and community values through tennis instruction and competition, academic support, and employment opportunities. Annually, YTA serves over 2,000 low-income, high-risk, inner city youth throughout the entire San Francisco Bay Area. YTA’s programs and coaches are well received and recognized locally and nationally, have won numerous USTA, USPTR, USPTA awards, and have been entrenched in the San Francisco and Oakland communities for over 25 years.