| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

Hundreds of children from around Long Island learned tennis basics and had fun trying a new sport at the Annual Merrick Fair. The USTA/Eastern-Long Island Region Board, led by President Daniel Burgess, JTF Liaison Melanie Rubin, Event Planner Marian Morris and USTA/Eastern Tennis Service Representative Bill Mecca, set up two 10 & Under courts at the fair, and organized lessons for many new young tennis players. These kids learned tennis the “QuickStart” way, which is the USTA’s format specially-designed for children under the age of 10, as the racquets are smaller, balls are lighter, and the courts are shorter.

Region board members helped throughout the day, as did local pros including Carefree Racquet Club (Merrick) Manager Kathy Miller and Director of Tennis Ronny D'Alessandro, Dory Levinter from Long Beach Tennis Center, Ashley Horishny, Daniel Burgess Jr., Sunny and Ed Fishkind, Kerrisha Buckley, Elaine Rodriguez, Barbara Brenseke and Michael Liu. Additional help was provided by Brianna Biancardi and the girls from the John F. Kennedy (Bellmore) High School Girls’ Tennis Team, who took turns giving lessons throughout the day.

While their children were hitting the balls, parents signed them up for their free USTA memberships. Children ages 10-and-under who sign up for new USTA memberships can do so for free until December 31, 2011. For more information on becoming a USTA member, please visit www.TRYUSTA.com/KIDS or call 1-800-990-8782 and mention source code NEWGAME. USTA membership includes:

► An annual subscription to Bounce newsletter
► Access to play USTA Junior Tournaments
► Access to play USTA Jr. Team Tennis