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September 22 • 03:36
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USTA Takes SMASHZONE to Nickelodeon' Worldwide Day of Play

September 20, 2011
USTA's Partnership with Nickelodeon and First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" Campaign Gets Kids Active by Playing Tennis

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., September 19, 2011 – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) today announced that its SmashZone, a complement to the association's ongoing youth participation 10 and Under Tennis initiative, will be part of Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play (WWDOP). On Saturday, Sept. 24, Nickelodeon and its WWDOP partners will host an entire day of activities and games for kids and their families on the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. to encourage active and healthy lifestyles.

During WWDOP, Nickelodeon's networks and websites will go dark from 12 to 3 p.m. (ET/PT) to inspire kids and families to get out and play. There are more than 4,000 confirmed local WWDOP events that will take place in every state across the U.S. and also in 12 countries throughout the year.

The USTA's SmashZone is a kid-friendly interactive tennis area that includes four kid-sized tennis courts for youth play. The space is handicap accessible and allows participants to try their skills on any of the four 10 and Under Tennis courts, which feature games including the Esurance "Champion of the Court" and a Target Challenge. All of the courts are made of Sport Court's high-performance PowerGame™ modular playing surface.

The USTA's 10 and Under Tennis initiative is geared towards getting more kids to participate in tennis using modified equipment and courts tailored to a child's size. By featuring shorter and lighter racquets, slower-bouncing balls, smaller courts and simplified scoring, children learn to play more quickly and easily while having more fun in the process.

"The USTA's partnership with Nickelodeon and participation in its Worldwide Day of Play provide a wonderful platform for us to encourage millions of young people everywhere to begin leading a more active and healthy lifestyle, and that playing tennis is a great activity to make that happen," said Jon Vegosen, Chairman of the Board and President, USTA. "Through our 10 and Under Tennis programming, we are able to get more tennis racquets in kids' hands at a younger age, cultivate their love and enjoyment of playing tennis, and help stem the onset of childhood obesity."

In addition to its partnership with Nickelodeon, the USTA has also joined forces with First Lady Michelle Obama for her "Let's Move!" campaign to help get kids moving through tennis and earn their Presidential Active Lifestyle Award (PALA). The PALA award recognizes kids who stay active for 60 minutes per day, five days a week for six out of eight weeks. PALA's national goal is to get one million youngsters to take this challenge. To date, the USTA is responsible for providing over 226,634 kids who have participated in and completed PALA through its youth tennis programs.

To find more information about the SmashZone check out

For more information about Nickelodeon's WWDOP, visit

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