First, I want to tell you all thank you for a great 2018. With your support, we added three awesome new programs: a scholarship for Billings area players who are competing at the collegiate level to honor their continued commitment to our sport and help defray a tiny bit of their college expenses. Congrats to Barclay Fagg, Tom Swatzke, Jay Montague, and Stevi Parker on making it to the next level! Second, working with the Elks, we started a new social mixed doubles spring league. We had nearly 100 participants in our six week spring mixed league! We were able to help support Brad Knutson's 9.0 mixed doubles team by paying their entry fee into nationals. The team won the honor to compete there by winning at the State level, and then beating out teams from throughout the Inter-mountain region. It's not too often a team from Montana makes it to Nationals! Way to go all! And, lastly, we extended our popular "under the lights" socials to year round...we hosted several fabulous FREE nights of tennis and food at the Elks last winter, and plan to do so again this year! These socials are a great way for us to welcome new players and make new tennis friends...and if you have attended any of them, you'll agree with me that Sarah Bach and the BTA social committee are party planners extraordinaire!
In addition, we continued to offer scholarships to all youth needing support to take group tennis lessons, put on three fantastic tournaments, and hired Navin Marimuthu to run leagues and lessons all summer.
Next up, the 2019 tournament season has begun. Good luck to the dozen or so Billings' players who are heading up to compete in Great Falls this weekend. Next up is the Helena Spring Fever tourney Feb 22-24, and then we have our own March Madness Tourney March 22-24. The Elks is also hosting a juniors only tourney Feb 15-17. To sign up to play in these tournaments visit the USTA website.
MARCH MADNESS - MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR MARCH 22-24!
This is going to be one of the best tennis weekends of the year! We have a tournament division for everyone - every level of play, mixed, singles and doubles. We have a great players party planned for Saturday afternoon, and we'll top the night off with a hilarious and fun karaoke party upstairs at the Elks! Throughout the weekend, players and spectators alike will have the chance to bid on fabulous silent auction items. It's going to an awesome tournament and I hope you will all participate in one way or the other!
Here's a sneak preview for the silent auction: Dan Darkenwald will be offering an amazing plane trip over the Yellowstone river valley in his private plane; Artist and tennis player Shannon Burns Johnson is painting up something spectacular for us; Quilter and tennis player Debbie Oliver is stitching up a lovely piece or two, baker and tennis mom Laura Bough will be contributing something fancy and yummy, new beekeeper Tracy Newbury will have a jar of her amazing honey and canner Amber Sparks will again offer up a few jars of her yummy jam!
If you would like to contribute to the silent auction, please contact me, Nancy Dimich or Jennie Poetzel. We'll be gathering up items to put on a great auction over the next month!
We are in the process of securing our 2019 sponsors for the BTA. Sponsors underwrite all of our programming for the year. They allow us to put on great parties, the best tournaments in the State, to introduce new USTA programs every year, and to provide scholarships to ensure that everyone who wants to play tennis in our community can! If you are interested in sponsoring the BTA, please contact Shannon Burns Johnson at 406-672-2247 or reply to this email.
Individual memberships are also important to our financial success.
-Juniors $10.00 (school age players)
- Single Membership $15.00
- Couple Membership $20.00 (2 players)
- Family Membership $25.00 (3 or more players)
Please send your check to
Billings Tennis Association
P.O. Box 21381
Billings, MT 59104
Please follow Billings Tennis Association on Facebook. It's much easier to keep our facebook page updated than it is to send out newsletters or update the webpage so we tend to post news to facebook first...our site is www.facebook.com/billingstennis. It's a public page so anyone can view it, even if you are not a facebooker! We also have a facebook "group" that is a good place for tennis players to interact with one another...anyone can post to the group page. Feel free to use it to arrange matches, sell used tennis equipment, report on court conditions, etc.
STATE OF TENNIS IN BILLINGS REPORT:
TENNIS IS GROWING IN BILLINGS, MT. My data source: George Moncure. George plays on all of our public courts at various times of the day and night all year round. He says that in 2018 there was rarely a time that at least one other court wasn't being used and this hasn't always been the case. He is convinced that tennis is on the upswing in Billings and I am too! Our BTA membership is strong, our event and tournament participation are solid. We have a great foundation to make 2019 an epic year for tennis! Happy New Year; see you on the courts!
BTA publicity chair