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Photo By Bryan Haraway
By Ryan Wolfington
The USTA-Nevada District received very good news from the United States Tennis Association and to make it even better Las Vegas native and eight-time Grand Slam champion Andre Agassi was there to take part in the press conference.

Thanks to the enormous efforts put forward by USTA-Intermountain, The City of Las Vegas, our Mayor and City Council, Lonny Zimmerman and most of all Sandy Foley with the Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center, the USTA announced that Darling has been named a USTA Certified Regional Training Center. The move is part of the USTA's continuing effort to develop future American tennis champions to follow in the footsteps of players like our own home town hero and tennis legend Andre Agassi.
"I commend the USTA for partnering with the Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center as part of its Certified Regional Training Center program in helping kids reach their full potential," said Andre Agassi, a Las Vegas native and founder of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. "It is great to see USTA Player Development expanding its reach throughout the country, making it easier for top junior tennis players to get good coaching right at home."
Photo By Bryan Haraway
At the press conference held at the Darling Tennis Center Agassi gave a riveting speech about all the aspects of tennis he loves, including it's ability to challenge us at all levels. He spoke like a father to the many children there about how tennis can teach them life's most important lessons, like problem solving. "The thing I love the most about this sport are the people it produces- it produces some spectacular spirits." Agassi's talk had the juniors and adults on the edges of their seats. It was an incredible way to kick off this wonderful new opportunity for Las Vegas and the Intermountain Section.

The USTA Certified Regional Training Centers expand the National USTA Player Development Program's reach throughout the country by partnering with academies, clubs and tennis centers that have a proven record of identifying and developing tennis players.

Photo By Bryan Haraway
"The Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center is one of the finest facilities in the country and will give us a strong presence in the Intermountain area," said Martin Blackman, a USTA Senior Director. "The DTC coaches led by Saad Ashraf and Tim Blenkiron have a proven track record of developing top junior players, and combined with the efforts of Tiffany Clifford, Player Development Coordinator for USTA Intermountain, I think this Certified Regional Training Center will quickly become a place for juniors throughout the Intermountain section to receive great training during the RTC camps."

The city of Las Vegas' Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center was named 2009 Public Park of the Year by Racquet Sports Industry magazine AND boasts 23 lighted outdoor hard courts in addition to a 3,000 seat stadium court. Since it's inception the Center has been the Crown Jewel bringing in national tournaments and international events which have resulted in millions of dollars in economic development.
"The USTA's designation of the Darling Tennis Center as a Certified Regional Training Center is an honor," said Las Vegas Councilman Stavros S. Anthony, who represents the area. "We are fully aware of the enormous effort the USTA has put into improving our player development process in this country. We feel proud and honored that the USTA has selected our world-class facility."

Photo By Bryan Haraway
Frank Adams, President of USTA-Intermountain and Terry Walters the Executive Director were also on hand to participate in the announcement. It is because of the Section and their efforts that this project was made possible.
"I also want to commend USTA-Nevada for all of their hard work in helping foster a great community for children to flourish," said Frank Adams. "Whether their goal is to play recreational, high school, college, or professional tennis, this sport will improve a child's overall life experience and this Regional Training Center is a great addition to what Las Vegas has already been doing."

As a Certified Regional Training Center, the Amanda and Stacy Darling Tennis Center can better serve the junior tennis community in the USTA Intermountain Section, which includes Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and the southern part of Idaho.

Photo By Bryan Haraway
In addition to continuing their already existing programs, Darling, now a USTA Certified Regional Training Center, will also host USTA Player Development camps for players ages 10-14. Participants are selected in conjunction with the USTA National coaching staff and their respective USTA Section Coaching Commission. Ken Shioi and Tim Blenkiron represent the Nevada District on the Sections coaches commission and will work with Nevada District pros to help identify talent in players as young as 6 years old.

The RTC will also run programs using the QuickStart* Tennis play format and host QuickStart tournaments for players 8-and-under and 10-and-under.

Photo By Bryan Haraway
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