June 13, 2012 // Franchising.com // Morris County, NJ – For the past two years, Beth Tutty and Michael Riccardi have been offering successful after-school TGA Golf enrichment programs impacting thousands of elementary and middle school students in Morris and Essex counties. In an effort to impact more youth through sports, they are expanding their scope by introducing after-school TGA Tennis programs.
TGA, the popular youth sports franchise company that developed the only after-school junior golf enrichment program in the country, began awarding franchises for its new Premier Youth Tennis business earlier this year in partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in an effort to grow the sport and impact youth.
Tutty and Riccardi, both avid tennis and golf enthusiasts with a passion for working with youth, recognized the similar business model and national partnership with the USTA and quickly acquired one of the newly launched TGA Premier Youth Tennis franchises.
TGA Premier Youth Tennis of Morris and Essex County will introduce tennis to children at elementary and middle schools, child care centers and community based organizations through a proprietary TGA / USTA multi-level instruction program for grades K – 3 and a play based enrichment curriculum for grades 4 – 8. It will then transition the students to TGA partner tennis facilities, and local USTA youth programs.
“The demand for Beth and Michael’s golf programs in schools and at golf courses developing youth throughout Morris and Essex Counties has been exponentially expanding. We are excited about them now adding tennis to their program menu,” says Joshua Jacobs, chief executive officer of TGA. “By combining their education and experience in youth sports with TGA’s franchise model, they have the opportunity to continue expanding their business and enriching the lives of students while growing the sport through the USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis initiative.”
Tutty is a native of New Jersey who founded Grow the Game, LLC, a youth based golf program serving Essex County. Riccardi is a former teacher with a Masters degree in elementary education. Together, they have worked over 20 years in youth sports and will now be offering youngsters two unique after-school sports curriculums.
“The fact that we can now offer two wonderful programs and provide young children a place to go after school and be active is very gratifying for us,” said Riccardi. “We are the only after-school program in all of our schools where students can learn two sports they can play the rest of their lives along with the life values and skills to help them grow as young people.”
The transition from after-school golf enrichment programs to tennis programs has been a smooth one, thanks in part to working with the USTA, according to Tutty.
“The impact on our business has been immediate. We were able to go to many of our existing schools and present the new tennis program and the USTA partnership, which really helped provide strong credibility for our new program. We are now in over 50 area schools providing both golf and tennis programs impacting thousands of students annually.”
The TGA/USTA partnership aligns with the USTA’s youth initiative, “10 and Under Tennis,” geared towards getting more children to participate in tennis using modified equipment and courts tailored to their sizes and ages. The partnership has developed specific curriculums for grades K – 3 and 4 – 8, designed to enrich young people’s lives through physical fitness, health and nutrition, education and character building.
“The USTA has been a great partner for us. The Middle States USTA Section has provided us with great support and the tools necessary to teach great tennis classes,” said Riccardi. “They have also worked with us in developing grant opportunities for under resourced schools, as well as community involvement.”
TGA’s sports franchises, which run the leading school- and community-based youth golf and tennis programs in the U.S., are geared toward motivated self-starters who are passionate about the sport, their community and enjoy working with children. Each franchise offers not only business ownership and job opportunities in the industry, but also a unique way to grow the sport.
TGA Premier Youth Tennis (TGA) is a youth development program executed through franchises. Its franchisees are self-starters who have a passion for helping children become involved in youth sports. It also provides them an entrée into the tennis industry.
TGA introduces youth to tennis at elementary and middle schools, child care centers, and community-based organizations through a multi-level enrichment program before transitioning them to tennis facilities and USTA initiatives nationwide.
TGA is a national partner with the United States Tennis Association, a national supporting organization of the Afterschool Alliance and Lights on Afterschool and is a corporate advocate and national partner of the President’s Challenge on Physical Fitness, as well as the National Council of Youth Sports.
For more information on TGA, visit www.playtga.com or follow @tgayouthtennis on Twitter.
TGA of Morris & Essex County
Michael Riccardi and Beth Tutty