Tennis: McLendon hoping to grow leagues
Allison McLendon has grown up around the sport of tennis.
"My dad's a coach, so I've always played," McLendon said. "There's even a picture of me as a baby with a tennis racket,"
Today, McLendon is continuing her love for the sport as the new League Coordinator for the Houston Tennis Association.
McLendon has been working with HTA since the beginning of June taking over the position from previous league coordinator Catherine Blevins overseeing different leagues throughout the city.
Prior to being hired, the Sam Houston State graduate worked at the Bentwater Country Club in Lake Conroe as a Retail Manager and a Personal Trainer.
"It's been a wild ride and I've been busy ever since," McLendon said about recently being hired.
McLendon said that there are three leagues in HTA: fall, spring and summer. McLendon said summer is their busiest season because players are able to get recognition and qualify for sectional and national events.
McLendon hopes to have the same popularity with the upcoming fall and spring leagues as they have with the summer.
"Fall and Spring are important because you can practice and get ready for the competition season next year in Summer 2012," McLendon said.
McLendon said there are currently over 3,000 participants in HTA that compete in leagues throughout the year and said that in order to participate in any league, you have to join the HTA.
In HTA, there are different leagues of competition for men and women, which is categorized on a scale starting at 2.5 as a beginner to 4.5 to very competitive.
McLendon said that they have a lot of mid-range to advance players, but she wants to focus on growing the 2.5 and 3.0 beginner leagues.
"I get e-mails every week from people new to Houston who never played tennis before and they come here and they want to play tennis because tennis in Houston is huge," McLendon said. "We have so many parks everywhere and so many clubs for tennis."
McLendon said that she is slowly but surely getting people who never played tennis before into leagues and learning about the game of tennis and wants people to know that it doesn't take being an amazing player to play in a HTA league.
"You don't have to play as a kid," McLendon said. "We have a super senior plus league, you can play at any age."
Since becoming league coordinator, McLendon said she's enjoyed meeting people in the tennis industry as well as playing tennis. She said she is a 4.0 and has to be careful how much time she spends in the office and on the court.
"I lost two matches all summer, so I think I did pretty good," McLendon joked. "I don't like to lose, but I lost to good people."
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