December 4, 2009

Gaucho Women's Tennis Pro-Am Raises Money for Area Youth Program

Dec. 4, 2009

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara women's tennis team recently held a Pro-Am Tournament to raise funds for the Match Point Tennis Program, a local program that benefits elementary school children in the Santa Barbara and Goleta areas. The effort was part of the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative.

Members of the UCSB women's tennis team paired-up with members of local clubs as doubles teams. The teams played five rounds of eight game matches and rotated in a round robin format with two flights. Each team had the opportunity to get to know each other while they sat out during their bye round.

The entire entry fee from the members went directly to benefit the Match Point program.

"This tournament was for a great cause and one that our players really took to heart," said Gaucho assistant coach and tennis pro at Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club. "Everyone had a great time and, most importantly, we were able to raise some funding for the kids in our community."

The Match Point Program targets elementary school children between third and sixth grade. Local tennis pros and collegiate players take part in the after school program that aids and encourages the kids with their homework, and then takes them out to play tennis, balancing academic and physical growth.

Scatliffe, who was an All-Big West player at UCSB, is also the head of the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons Schools Program. In that role, she has gotten the Gaucho women's and men's tennis teams involved in working with fourth to sixth graders from about 10 locals schools. The players instruct the students during their physical education time, highlighting the importance of physical fitness as well as education.

"Beginning at the age of 10, taught only by my father in a public park in San Bernardino (Calif.), I dedicated my time to tennis and school," Scatliffe remembered. "Now I am happier than ever. I am a UCSB alum and deeply involved in the Santa Barbara tennis community.

"This aspect of what I do is an opportunity for me to give back to a sport and a community that means a so much to me," she said.

According to Scatliffe, the kids, as well as the Gaucho players who have taken part in the program, are rewarded greatly.

"The kids love it," she said. "They see the players as their idols and show their thanks with such great sweat and effort."

What do the UCSB players get in return?

"Hugs and smiles," said Scatliffe. "And it's tremendously rewarding."

Gauchos Give With the arrival of Mark Massari as Athletics Director in 2008, UCSB Athletics launched the Gauchos Give community outreach initiative for all 450 athletes and 20 sports. Gaucho athletes give back to their community through free clinics, helping families during the holidays, providing financial and emotional support during tragedies, and touching the lives of youth groups.

BE Great In 2008 UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.

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