Tennis Play Day for 10 and younger this Saturday

World Tennis Day was supposed to be celebrated in Missoula last Saturday, but due to the blizzard and all, it’s been pushed back to this Saturday.

That’s March 8. Here are the details:

March 3, 2013 – The USTA-Montana will host a Tennis Play Day on Saturday, March 8 at University of Montana’s Schreiber Gym (32 Campus Drive) from 9-11am in celebration of World Tennis Day, a nationwide effort to get kids excited and active in tennis. Play Days are a great way for Kids 10 and Under to play tennis in a fun, non-threatening, non-elimination and competitive environment.

Register at www.MontanaTennis.org (Youth Tennis Page) or on the day of the event. Cost: $5 per player.

Studies have shown that an early, positive experience in sports is vital to combatting physical inactivity and creating a lifelong commitment to an active lifestyle. More than a thousand facilities will host USTA Tennis Play Events this March, each showcasing how fun and easy it now is for families to get into the sport. These events will allow parents to sign up their children for spring and summer tennis programs.

“USTA Tennis Play Events provide an opportunity to engage children in a fun environment, as well as inspiring them to love physical activity and sports for life,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “These efforts are part of USTA’s strong commitment to making it easier for kids to get into the game—and stay in the game.”

World Tennis Day on March 3 serves as a kick-off to the Play Events. It is a celebration of tennis around the world that includes professional tennis matches in New York City, Hong Kong and London. The World Tennis Day celebration in New York’s Madison Square Garden will feature Novak Djokovic squaring off against Andy Murray, and Bob and Mike Bryan taking on John and Patrick McEnroe.

To learn more about USTA-Montana Tennis Play Events, please visit www.MontanaTennis.org.

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Who’s up for some tennis?

World Tennis Day is coming up in a couple of weeks.

Who knew?

USTA-MT did. The group’s schools coordinator, Lauren Olson, sent out a press release announcing that it will be celebrating World Tennis Day by hosting a Tennis Play Day on March 1 for those 10 years old and younger.

March 1 is a Saturday, and the event will take place in the Schreiber Gym on the University of Montana Campus from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

World Tennis Day is “a nationwide effort to get kids excited and active in tennis,” and the Play Day is aimed at providing an opportunity for children “to play tennis in a fun, non-threatening, non-elimination and competitive environment.”

Parents can register their 10-and-younger kiddos online at www.MontanaTennis.org (Youth Tennis Page) or on the day of the event for $5 per player.

According to Olson’s announcement:

Studies have shown that an early, positive experience in sports is vital to combatting physical inactivity and creating a lifelong commitment to an active lifestyle. More than a thousand facilities will host USTA Tennis Play Events this March, each showcasing how fun and easy it now is for families to get into the sport. These events will allow parents to sign up their children for spring and summer tennis programs.

“USTA Tennis Play Events provide an opportunity to engage children in a fun environment, as well as inspiring them to love physical activity and sports for life,” said Kurt Kamperman, USTA Chief Executive, Community Tennis. “These efforts are part of USTA’s strong commitment to making it easier for kids to get into the game—and stay in the game.”

World Tennis Day on March 3 serves as a kick-off to the Play Events. It is a celebration of tennis around the world that includes professional tennis matches in New York City, Hong Kong and London. The World Tennis Day celebration in New York’s Madison Square Garden will feature Novak Djokovic squaring off against Andy Murray, and Bob and Mike Bryan taking on John and Patrick McEnroe.

To learn more about USTA-Montana Tennis Play Events, please visit www.MontanaTennis.org.

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Fifth-graders get rotten lesson in sportsmanship at Helena tournament

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

This is the kind of thing I really can’t stand. A coach and a scorekeeper get into a fight – at a kids’ basketball game – and it’s the kids who lose out. Their entire tournament had to be canceled after police were called to break up the fight.

We’re talking about fifth-graders here. And during the season of goodwill toward all, no less.

“Police Chief Troy McGee says his understanding is that a coach disagreed with an official during a game on Thursday and the scorekeeper got involved, followed by numerous spectators.”

So the rest of the tournament was canceled.

“Helena YMCA CEO David Smith says it was a difficult decision, but notes that when a parent signs their child up for youth sports, they agree to a 12-point code of conduct. He said violence and poor sportsmanship cannot be tolerated.”

Of course, those parents and children probably thought the code of conduct wouldn’t have to be applied to people other than themselves.

Again: Ugh.

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When students love their teacher/coach, and the teacher/coach has cancer, this is what can happen

Today – this afternoon – the Beavers from Beaverhead County High School in Dillon will face Billings Central for the Class A state football title. The game will be in Billings, and coach Steve Vezina will be there.

Word is that Vezina wouldn’t miss it for the world, even though he was recently diagnosed with prostate, colon and liver cancer, and he just returned to Montana from another round of chemo in Salt Lake City.

This guy is clearly dedicated to his students and team. And they are very clearly dedicated to him.

Yesterday, a five-minute video made by his students – actually, it looks like every student, member of the faculty and staff at Beaverhead took part – was posted on YouTube. They’re singing Katy Perry’s “Roar,” and it’s inspiring to say the least.  You can tell just how much Vezina – they call him “Vez” – means to them all.

The video is meant to inspire Vezina to keep up his fight against the cancer – but it’s also inspiring a lot of people to donate to a fund that was set up to help support Vezina’s family during this financially trying time. The Vezina page at gofundme lists a fundraising goal of $5,000 – but the total amount raised so far is more than $27,000. Wow.

Watch the video, and you’ll see why. Be sure to have a hanky ready – the video is making everyone cry buckets.

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Gear, clothing sale at Discovery will benefit Anaconda School Ski Program

What a cool deal. This Sunday, Nov. 24, Discovery Ski Area is hosting a big sale with a big name: The Winter Wonderland Extravaganza.

The sale will feature “gently used” winter clothing, ski and snowboard gear, ice skates and more. Best of all, thanks to a partnership between Disco and the parent-teacher-student association at Anaconda Elementary, all the money made from the sale will be used to help support the Anaconda School Ski Program.

It’s happening from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you ask nicely well in advance, the folks running the sale might let you put some items on consignment.

Here’s some more deets:

All funds generated that day will become the scholarships that cover area students’ enrollment in the program.  Participants will get four full days on the hill, including transportation to and from the ski area, rental equipment, a lift ticket, instruction, and a lunch.

During the sale, Discovery Ski Area’s rental shop and ticket office will be open for picking up season passes or squaring away season rentals. Don’t miss out on the 5-pack lift tickets that will also be available for a special price of only $175!

To make donations ahead of time, please drop them off at any of the Anaconda schools or at Community Hospital of Anaconda.

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Skiers will find new and improved beginner area at Big Sky

It’s almost time for Montana’s ski areas to open for the winter season!

As it prepares for opening day – less than two weeks to go! – Big Sky Resort sent out some information about the recent improvements it’s made to its beginner area.

Over the summer Big Sky redesigned the beginner area to “provide students of all ages the development steps to evolve into lifelong participants of snow sports. The new design eases the learning progression through three surface lifts and the only skill required is standing on a conveyor.”

Photo courtesy of LONNIE BALL

Photo courtesy of LONNIE BALL

Read on:

Absolute beginner children step onto the Small Fry surface lift in a virtually level area, located immediately outside the Snowcrest Lodge Big Sky Mountain Sports School facility.

This Children’s Bowl has added a second, longer, surface lift, called Beehive Basin, to improve the lesson experience for all children in the Big Sky Mountain Sports School program.

A newly purchased surface lift, Middle Basin, was installed this summer and seamlessly links the Children’s Bowl and the Bear Basin surface lift. Bear Basin has been moved to far skiers right adding more ideal beginner terrain, to prepare students for steeper slopes, wider turns, and to graduate to the beginner chairlift. Adult first time skiers and riders learn the fundamentals in a safe and easy environment, learning safety, equipment and how to dress for comfort.

In addition to the Mountain Village, Big Sky Mountain Sports School will also be located at the Madison Base in the Moonlight Basin area offering the same snow sports services.

Big Sky Resort has created one of the finest Snowsports Schools in America with a diverse staff of instructors, all certified by Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA)/American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI), with the goal to help adults or children, groups or private lessons in skiing or snowboard, advance to the Biggest Skiing in America® experience.

The redesign will help guests taking lessons enjoy our entry level terrain with less effort.

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Tired, tired teens break world record for longest tennis match

Congratulations are pouring in for the Hellgate High School seniors who set a new Guinness World Record for playing the longest tennis match in recorded history: a bout that wrapped up Sunday after 60 hours, 59 minutes and 58 seconds.

Sam Angel

Sam Angel

Katie Martens

Katie Martens

Closing in on the final hours of the match, 18-year-old Sam Angel was reportedly delirious with exhaustion: “”I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m tired, I’m really tired, I’m tired,” he said.

His fatigue – and that of singles partner Katie Martens – was all for a very good cause. The two raised more than $7,000 for Watson Children’s Shelter, which provides emergency shelter for children who have experienced family trauma.

Now that’s what I call a love game! Congratulations, Sam and Katie.

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Kids at Glacier Ice Rink turning Missoula into ‘a hockey town’

The Montana Kaimin – the University of Montana’s student-run newspaper – has an interesting story in today’s edition about the local youth hockey culture.

It delves a little bit into Glacier Ice Rink’s origins at its location on the Missoula County Fairgrounds property and its gradual growth into a mecca for the region’s skating enthusiasts.

Currently, for instance, the rink is once again conducting its Learn to Skate program, which consistently graduates a large percentage of its young students into other hockey programs.

It just goes to show: Give kids a rink, and they’ll skate all over.

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On winning, losing, and playing an excellent game

Photo by KURT WILSON

Photo by KURT WILSON

When your kid joins a sports team, you hope they will learn more than just how to play the game and win, right? You hope they will learn the kind of lessons that will serve them throughout their lives – lessons about discipline, teamwork, and striving for excellence.

But it’s the rare team, I would venture to guess, that gets to experience the extraordinary life lessons currently being taught to the Frenchtown Broncs, whose three boys’ basketball teams are running a combined 1-24 tally this season. While racking up the literal losses, they have been scoring figurative wins in what really counts. And what is it that, you ask? Read all about it, here. And gooooooo Broncs!

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Missoula hockey moms are made of tough stuff

… as evidenced in this article in today’s Missoulian. Gotta love that opening line, “Think hockey players are tough? Meet their moms.”

Hockey moms

The moms were braving the cold weather in town in order to witness the sixth annual Missoula High School Holiday Classic – a three-day event. While here, they shared with reporter Betsy Cohen which player positions are more stressful for the player’s mom (goalie) and the perks of traveling to away games (no laundry!).

– MM

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