VERO BEACH — Along with top-notch tennis, The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation is serving up a week of activities and programs to recognize area youth and highlight what this Children’s Foundation is all about, the kids.
Spectating kids are invited to join on court each evening between 5 and 6 p.m. as local clubs offer clinic demonstrations.
A Wednesday clinic will be held by Lozano/Osorio Tennis Academy players with Marco Osorio and Adrianna Canape from the Boulevard. On Thursday, Wayne Keeler from Hidden Palms Tennis Club will run the clinic.
Friday is a free day for kids, packed with activities.
The Friday schedule is as follows:
4 to 5 p.m.: Kids ages 4-14 are invited for face painting, on court games and drills, match play, radar serve contest and more.
5 to 5:20 p.m.: Join Yoga Barre as they run a yoga cool down for Kids Day participants.
5:25 to 5:45 p.m.: Alain Mignolet of Twin Oaks will be hosting a mini-exhibition highlighting local top junior players.
As a reminder, feature matches will not be held before 6 p.m. each evening. Ball kids must report at 5:30 to receive assignments.
Saturday/Sunday matches will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday. Ball kids are to report 30 minutes early if only attending afternoon matches to receive team assignment.
Closing ceremonies will be held on Sunday with Edmund Nalzarro singing the National Anthem.
Starting in 2016, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation is the new operator of the $10,000 “Futures” tennis tournament in Vero Beach, one of the longest-running and best attended events on the U.S. Tennis Association Pro Circuit.
The tournament, now called The Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation Tennis Championships, benefits the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation, the non-profit tennis foundation benefiting children and named for Vero Beach native son Mardy Fish. Fish is a former top 10 tennis star, U.S. Davis Cup hero and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympic Games.
The event was managed for 20 years by Vero Beach tennis teaching professional Mike Rahaley, who made the annual Vero Beach stop one of the crown jewels on the USTA Pro Circuit. The 2016 tournament is being held April 22 through May 1 at The Boulevard Tennis Club.
Founded in 2007, the Mardy Fish Children’s Foundation (www.MardyFishFoundation.com and @MardyFishFound on Twitter) currently supports more than 2,100 children in 15 elementary schools and six middle schools in Indian River County by providing after-school exercise, nutritional and enrichment programs in a safe environment to prepare them for healthy, productive and successful lives.
The Foundation introduced the “Six Healthy Habits” in 2012 which are: get sleep, drink water, exercise daily, eat healthy, brush and floss, and make friends.
Fish recently completed his ATP professional tennis career at the 2015 U.S. Open, highlighted by a career-high ranking of No. 7, six ATP singles titles, eight ATP doubles titles and an Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2004 Olympics. He reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and was a mainstay on the U.S. Davis Cup team from 2002 to 2012.
Some of the past competitors in Vero Beach have gone on to succeed at the highest levels of professional tennis, winning major singles and doubles titles, Olympic medals and Davis Cup championships and earning No. 1 world rankings.
Andy Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion who attained the world No. 1 ranking and helped the United States win the Davis Cup in 2007 competed in Vero Beach in 1999. Thomas Johansson of Sweden, who reached the second round of the Vero Beach Futures in 1995, won the Australian Open seven years later in 2002. Nicolas Massu, the 1998 singles runner-up in Vero Beach, won the singles and doubles gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, beating Fish in the gold medal singles match. Kyle Edmund, the 2013 champion in Vero Beach, helped Great Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015.
Other notable former competitors in Vero Beach include former world No. 2 Magnus Norman, former world No. 4 Tim Henman, 2016 Australian Open semifinalist Milos Raonic among others.
Former Vero Beach competitors have combined to win 19 titles in singles, doubles and mixed doubles at Grand Slam tournaments. Six former Vero Beach players have gone on to play Davis Cup for the United States – Roddick, Fish, Taylor Dent, Jared Palmer, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.
Sponsors and supporters of the event are as follows:
Grand Slam Sponsors
Laser Spine Institute
George E. Warren Corp.
Indian River Medical Center
Syde Hurdus Foundation
John’s Island Real Estate
Coastal Van Lines Storage
Indian River Press Journal / TCPalm.com
Dr. Larry Landsman
Dr. John Sarbak
White Orchid Day Spa
Michael & Kathleen Pierce
Indian River Oxygen
Rosato Plastic Surgery Center
Kay C. Betancourt, DMD
Jeff & Rosanne Susi
Sam & Susie Bell
Sue Powell Rentals
Peter Bernholz Family
Don & Linda Proctor
The Whole Person Project, Inc.
Ocean Drive Plastic Surgery
Ocean Drive Elite Physiques
Barker Air Conditioning
Bill & Laurie Stewart
Steve McCloud / Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking
Coggin BMW of Ft. Pierce / Mercedes of Ft. Pierce
Twig Swim & Sportswear Shop
Supporting Sponsors and Patrons
The Moorings Yacht & Country Club
New Leaf Designs
A Pampered Life / Disney Spa
Carpe Antiperspirant Hand Lotion
Robert Kowalczyk – Moorings Yacht & Country Club
Calvetti & Company
Steve Hardin – Twin Oaks Tennis Club
Aurelija Merrill – John’s Island Club
Roy & Tish Wissel
Tennis Resort at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at Disney
Quail Valley Club
Maison Beach Gifts
Center for Advanced Eye Care
Diamond Resorts International
Rock City Gardens
Tina Simone Company
Kevin Healy, M.S., D.S.
Chiropractic Nutrition and Wellness
Treasure Coast Sports Commission
Sam Garcia – Quail Valley Club
Dr. Raymond Della Porta, D.M.D.
Yulin Day Spa
Pat Gorman – Bent Pine Golf Club
Grind & Grape bar & grill
Vero Beach Yoga Barre
Ken & Annette Krasnow
Indian River County School District
Spring Hill Suites by Marriott
Vero Beach Inn & Suites
Dr. Michele Maholtz
Jony Leitenbauer and Tom Fish – Windsor Club