USAPA Junior Connection
Junior Connection Introduces USAPA Recreational Staff
by USAPA Juniors Committee Chair Bob Nibarger
Junior Connection is pleased to welcome the USAPA Department of Recreational Programs staff, Hope Tolley and Jason Jamison. Hope and Jason joined the USAPA last year. Hope is the Director of Recreational Programs and Jason is the Recreational Programs Advisor. The USAPA Juniors Program is included within the Recreational Department so we are delighted to have them share some of their ideas with us in this edition of Junior Connection.
Prior to joining the USAPA, Hope and Jason worked together at the United States Tennis Association (USTA) where their focus was on implementing tennis programs within school systems, supporting extracurricular tennis initiatives and creating on-court and program delivery resources. Hope has an extensive background in physical education in which she taught all levels including elementary, middle, high school and collegiate in diverse settings that include five states. Since leaving the USTA in 2015, Jason launched a consulting business that specializes in supporting program development, workshop and trainings as well as special events for recreation organizations, program providers and facilities. Jason is also a nationally Certified Youth Sports Administrator with the Alliance of Youth Sports.
We have several exciting initiatives planned for 2020 and to accelerate the growth of Juniors, we are looking to implement programming more broadly with schools and after school entities nationwide. Therefore, we developed a Youth Program Provider Membership opportunity. The USAPA will provide various tools and resources to those who offer pickleball programing. Schools, youth organizations, parks & recreation departments and other agencies will soon be able to request and receive an animated playbook of dynamic activities, fun play rotations, along with videos, equipment discounts and other tools to enhance their programs. We will look to launch the new membership once schools and after school programs across the country have resumed regular programming. To help promote the junior recreational initiatives, the USAPA will rely heavily on the strength of the organization’s volunteers and utilize its established ambassador network as the main delivery system.
Another short-term goal of the department and the Juniors Committee is to work with the PPR to identify some Youth Program Development Centers that bring families together to enjoy the sport of junior pickleball by providing recreational, educational and competitive activities. Utilizing the relationship of the PPR is imperative to the success of these Development Centers. We are dedicated to determine the best ways possible to collaborate with our partners to foster collaboration to grow the sport.
As we continue to grow as a sport, it is important that we utilize our greatest asset which is our incredible ambassador network. The dedication, excitement and willingness to promote the sport of pickleball is overwhelming. We hope that the ambassadors take the love of the sport and look to promote it to youth entities where additional generations have an opportunity to participate in such a wonderful sport.
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